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.
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.