The two countries, already very close on many issues, Canada and the United Kingdom announced Thursday, March 24, launch negotiations for a free trade agreement after the Brexit, effective since January 1, 2021.
“I am delighted to announce that Canada and the United Kingdom are officially launching negotiations for a new free trade agreement,” announced Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Trade in the presence of her British counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
The talks could last two years, said the Canadian minister. “In 2021, the United Kingdom was the third-largest trading partner of Canada in goods and services, with billions of USD flowing between our two countries,” she said.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she wanted “to go further and faster than ever to boost trade in areas such as digital, financial and legal services and research and development.
It is clear that since the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, London is seeking to boost its international trade but will still have to wait for a free trade agreement with Washington.
The two countries managed to settle their steel and aluminum dispute on Tuesday, March 22, but the Biden administration did not seem to be in a hurry to resume negotiations for a free trade agreement.
Britain has so far signed agreements with non-EU European countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), but also with countries further afield such as Japan, Israel and more recently Australia and New Zealand.