OTTAWA — Britain’s trade minister says his country expects to kick-start talks on a free-trade pact with Canada in the fall and suggests it might differ in scope from what is now in place.
Ranil Jayawardena says first the British government must hold consultations on what should be in an agreement before it can sit down with Canadian negotiators on the terms of a long-term deal.
In March, Canada ratified a temporary trade agreement with the U.K. after it left the European Union at the end of last year.
The deal maintained preferential access to the U.K. market for Canadian exporters and businesses, and eliminated tariffs on 98 per cent of goods exported from this country.
Jayawardena says he believes the existing agreement should give both countries a head start in talks, rather than beginning from square one.
Speaking virtually at an event hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, he also identifies access for agricultural products as a potential stumbling block in talks.