Sunday, 18 March 2018

PM Theresa May visits Canada for post-Brexit trade talks


Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Canada on Monday to discuss plans for a post-Brexit trade deal.

She said the two countries held “shared values” ahead of meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The trip comes ahead of a deal between Canada and the EU, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), coming into force on 21 September.

Mrs May hopes to use Ceta as the model for a bilateral trade deal for when the UK is excluded from Ceta after Brexit.

Under the EU-Canada agreement, which took seven years to negotiate, Canada agreed to eliminate 98% of its import duties.

Mrs May and Mr Trudeau are expected to set up a new joint working group to prepare the groundwork for a separate deal.

Under EU membership rules, the UK is prohibited from sealing a foreign free trade agreement until it leaves, so has instead set up working groups abroad, including with Japan, the US and Australia.

Speaking ahead of her visit, Mrs May said: “When we come together and work as one to project our shared values on the world stage, we form a powerful union.

“My visit to Canada today is not only about recognising our past but also looking ahead to our bright future.”

She pointed to a “long shared history” between the two countries, adding: “We celebrate together our shared monarchy, and close ties of family and friendship.”

The UK-Canada bilateral trade relationship is thought to be worth £15.2bn a year, while Britain is the second-biggest destination for Canadian investment abroad, with £1.75bn invested in the country since March.

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