UK and Canada agree 'rollover' post-Brexit trading terms

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The UK and Canada have agreed to continue trading under the terms of the Ceta agreement with the EU while negotiations on a new trade deal continue in 2021.


The UK and Canada have agreed a deal to continue trading on the same terms as under the current EU agreement after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31st.

It means there will be no changes for companies doing business between the two countries, ensuring continuity while negotiators work on a new comprehensive trade deal in 2021.

The news was welcomed by leaders of both nations, with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau noting it is especially important as talks on a new free trade agreement are likely to take several years to come to fruition.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, said it was a "fantastic agreement for Britain".

While it does not bring any new benefits to businesses, the agreement means all the terms of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) signed between the EU and Canada will continue to apply on trading with the UK.

Ceta was signed in 2016 and was the result of seven years of negotiations, which may highlight some of the challenges faced by the UK as it goes it alone and looks to obtain quick trade deals post-Brexit.

Reuters noted that trade between the two nations is currently worth more than £20 billion a year, including both goods and services. The UK is Canada's fifth-largest trading partner, behind the US, China, Mexico and Japan.

The new rollover agreement will ensure this relationship is not disrupted when the UK exits its transition period with the EU at the end of 2020.

Speaking on a video call to secure the agreement in principle, Mr Trudeau said: "Now we get to continue to work on a bespoke agreement, a comprehensive agreement over the coming years that will really maximize our trade opportunities and boost things for everyone."

The UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement will still need to go through final legal checks before it is signed, but this is considered to be a formality.