Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are seen in a pre-recorded video during a news conference in Ottawa, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Canada and Britain say they've signed a deal to keep trade flowing smoothly after the U.K. leaves the European Union at the end of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada and Britain sign agreement for post-Brexit trade, tables legislation

OTTAWA — Canada and Britain say they’ve signed a deal to keep trade flowing smoothly after the U.K. leaves the European Union at the end of the year.

The Liberal government followed up with a bill to implement the deal in Canadian law, introducing it in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon.

The two countries reached an agreement in principle in November on maintaining the terms for about $35 billion in two-way trade.

Trade between the two countries has been covered by Canada’s agreement with Europe as a whole, but those terms will no longer apply once Britain’s departure from the union takes effect at the end of December.

That would have meant new tariffs on goods such as cars, seafood, beef and maple syrup absent a pact between the two countries.

“At a time of great uncertainty amid COVID-19, this continuity and predictability is crucial for all Canadians,” Trade Minister Mary Ng said in a statement.

While this deal maintains the terms of the Canada-EU deal, Canada and the U.K. are to keep working on another, more tailored trade agreement.

Ng’s British counterpart, Liz Truss, said in her own statement that the current agreement “paves the way for a more advanced deal that goes further and faster in modern areas like digital and data, women’s economic empowerment and the environment.”

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