As Britain's exit from the EU becomes final, so to does its participation in EU negotiated trade deals. Canada and the U.K. are taking all necessary steps required to implement an interim trade agreement for April 1, 2021. ( iStock)

Canada ratifies interim post-Brexit free trade deal with U.K.

Canada has ratified an interim post-Brexit free trade agreement with the United Kingdom that will allow the two countries to continue trading virtually tariff-free while Ottawa and London work on a more permanent trade deal, International Trade Minister Mary Ng announced Friday.

The Canada-United Kingdom (U.K.) Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA) is similar to the terms of the free trade deal Canada signed with the European Union just before Brexit.

The U.K. is Canada’s second-largest services trading partner, according to federal statistics. The value of bilateral trade in services between the U.K. and Canada amounts to over $14.5 billion, of which Canadian exports account for almost $7.1 billion.

The interim trade deal will provide Canadian exporters and businesses with continued preferential access to the U.K. market and 98 per cent of Canadian products will continue to be exported to the UK tariff-free, Ng said.

Canada and the U.K. are taking all necessary steps required to implement the agreement for April 1, she said.

“Canada and the United Kingdom share a unique, and historic relationship,” Ng said in a statement. “As we continue to address the pandemic, and look ahead, international trade will be essential to ensuring a strong, inclusive recovery that generates growth and creates good jobs and prosperity for Canadians.”

Following Brexit, the Canada-U.K. trade relationship has been governed by a memorandum of understanding which provides reciprocal tariff preferences on goods shipped between both countries until the Canada-U.K. Trade Continuity Agreement is ratified and implemented.

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