OTTAWA | Canada and the United Kingdom have signed a temporary agreement to avoid the increase in tariffs between the two countries that should have followed the British exit from the European Union in early 2021, Ottawa announced on Tuesday.
The two countries announced at the end of November that they had concluded a provisional post-Brexit trade agreement reproducing from January 1 the terms of that from which the United Kingdom benefited as an EU member state.
But this agreement could not be ratified in time by the Canadian Parliament before the winter recess, which should have resulted in an automatic increase in tariffs between the two countries on January 1.
The temporary deal allows tariffs between the two countries to remain at current levels until the new trade deal is passed in parliament, a foreign ministry statement said.
With this interim agreement, “the Government of Canada is ensuring that companies and importers can easily continue their business activities, while avoiding additional red tape,” the statement said. “These measures will help ensure stability and certainty in trade on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Two-way merchandise trade with the UK was worth C $ 29 billion in 2019, according to official government figures. The UK is Canada’s leading merchandise export market to Europe.