Britain and Canada sign trade agreement

Marco Green
Ноября 24, 2020

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he hopes the outline of a Brexit free trade deal will have emerged by the end of the week.

Her comments came a day after the chief Brexit negotiators chose to temporarily suspend their in-person talks, after a member of the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier's personal team tested positive for COVID-19.

"Fundamental divergences still remain, but we are continuing to work hard for a deal", Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said in a tweet Monday. Those discussions could bear fruit as early as next week, but the negotiations could still collapse.

Barnier stressed on Monday that negotiators were running out of time to make a Jan 1 deadline and that "fundamental divergences still remain".

Following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union in January, Ottawa and London agreed to let the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA-the bilateral trade deal in effect between Canada and the EU since 2017-continue to apply to Canada-U.K. trade until the end of this year.

The UK leaves the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year and without an agreement there could be tariffs and quotas imposed on trade with the bloc.

The Brexit update also mentioned that UK PM Boris Johnson is ready to speak to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen later in the week to consider progress. The EU has frequently warned that its lawmakers will need some time to process any deal before ratifying it during their plenary session, scheduled for mid-December.

"It is now vital that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss show the same urgency in securing the other 14 outstanding continuity agreements with countries like Mexico, Ghana and Singapore, where a total of £60bn of United Kingdom trade is still at risk and time is beginning to run out", she added.

The two countries will begin negotiations next year to expand their commercial agreements to cover digital trade, the environment and women's economic empowerment, the U.K.'s Department for International Trade said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

"And the people of Australia able to get Penguins in exchange".

It comes as Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said that a no-deal Brexit would cause even more long-term damage to the UK's economy than the coronavirus pandemic.

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