UK signs trade deal with Canada to prepare for Brexit

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Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada | YouTube

The interim deal beat the looming December 31 Brexit deadline, replacing Canada's current agreement with Britain under the European Union that covers trade between the two countries.

It has yet to strike a deal with the European Union, although negotiations are ongoing.

It's one of 53 countries the United Kingdom has signed agreements with ahead of the finalization of its departure from the the end of the year - at which point it will no longer be covered by the umbrella of deals forged by the union.

"Free trade is an important part of the way we're going to bounce back from COVID", Johnson said.

"Our negotiators have been working flat out to secure trade deals for the United Kingdom, and from as early next year we have agreed to start work on a new, bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go even further in meeting the needs of our economy", Johnson added.

"The UK and Canada have locked in their existing trading relationship, worth 20 billion pounds (about 26.57 billion US dollars), and agreed to begin negotiating a new more ambitious trade deal as early as next year", said a statement issued by the DIT.

"The UK is bonded by history, culture and transatlantic trade with our friends and allies in Canada, and we want to continue to build partnerships around the world that support our shared values of freedom and democracy, and today marks another step towards membership of a group of like-minded nations- the Trans-Pacific Partnership".

Global trade secretary, Liz Truss, said: "Today's agreement underpins £20 billion worth of trade and locks in certainty for thousands of jobs".

The U.K. has now secured post-Brexit trade deals with 53 countries accounting for 164 billion pounds ($218 billion) of bilateral trade, the government said.

Sunak gave the interview ahead of a spending review on Wednesday when he will set out the government's spending over the next year, after COVID-19 blew a 200 billion pound ($266 billion) hole in Britain's finances.

He told the Sunday Times that he hoped Britain and the European Union would secure an agreement. Both sides have warned there could be a no-deal end to the transition period next month unless the two sides can soon bridge their remaining differences on fishing, state aid for industry and the resolution of future disputes.

"We knew that having an interim agreement would be crucial to ensure that businesses, exporters, our workers on both sides of the Atlantic have the continuity and the predictability that they need", International Trade Minister Mary Ng said Saturday.

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