Canada and Britain have signed a temporary agreement to avoid an increase in tariffs between the two countries after the British exit from the European Union in early 2021, Ottawa said Tuesday.
|An aerial view shows lines of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles parked on the tarmac at Manston Airport near Ramsgate, south east England on December 22, 2020, as the Brexit contingency plan "Operation Fennel" was activated early to cope with lorries waiting to depart the UK, after France closed its borders to accompanied freight arriving from the UK due to the rapid spread of a new coronavirus strain. The British government said Tuesday it was considering tests for truckers as part of talks with French authorities to allow the resumption of freight traffic suspended due to a new more infectious coronavirus strain. Britain was plunged into fresh crisis last week with the emergence of a fresh strain of the virus, which is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than other forms.(William EDWARDS / AFP) |
At the end of November, the two countries announced they had concluded a provisional post-Brexit trade agreement that would reflect, as of January 1, the terms of the deal that Britain benefited from as a member state of the EU.
But the agreement could not be ratified before the Canadian parliament went into its winter recess, which would 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 the interim agreement, the Canadian government "is making sure businesses can easily continue trading without adding paperwork for businesses and importers," it said in a statement.
"These measures will ensure stability and certainty on both sides of the Atlantic," it added.
Bilateral trade with Britain was worth Can$29 billion (18.5 billion euros) in 2019, according to official government figures. Britain is the main market for Canadian exports to Europe.