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UK and Canada sign roll-over trade deal

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Scottish food and drink will be a big beneficiary

Britain and Canada have “locked in” their existing trading relationship, and will work on a bespoke agreement next year. 

It is one of several rollover bilateral trade deals that will replace the terms already agreed with the EU.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were joined on a video call with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and her Canadian counterpart Mary Ng to confirm the “agreement in principle”.

The Department for International Trade said it gives certainty for UK businesses exporting goods and services to Canada worth £11.4 billion including 814 businesses in Scotland which exported £411 million in goods to Canada in 2019. 


Scottish food and drink producers accounted for £149 million worth of these products. 

UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said: “Scotland’s world-famous products, including Scotch beef, Scotch Whisky, Scottish salmon and other seafood are set to benefit from this agreement.

“This deal shows that huge opportunities lie ahead as we leave the EU.”

Overall, an estimated £42 million tariff burden on UK exports has been saved.

The agreement means future zero tariffs on UK car exports to Canada, which were worth £757 million last year. Without this agreement, Canada’s standard tariffs on cars of 6.1% would apply.  

There will be tariff-free trade on 98% of goods that can be exported to Canada including beef, fish, seafood and soft drinks.  

UK producers will continue to benefit from zero tariffs on many agricultural and seafood exports including chocolate, confectionery, fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries and fish. Last year the UK exported £344m worth of agri-food goods to Canada. 

Without the continuity agreement, Canadian food products such as maple syrup, biscuits and salmon could have been more expensive for British consumers as they would face taxes of up to 8% when entering the UK under the UK Global Tariff. 

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Today’s announcement means that it in under two years, the UK government has agreed trade deals with 53 countries accounting for £164bn of UK bilateral trade.

It also takes the UK one step closer to accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Canada is a member.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:  “This is a fantastic agreement for Britain which secures transatlantic trade with one of our closest allies.”

Josh Hardie, acting Director-General of the CBI said: “Agreeing a deal with Canada that secures continuity of trade is great news for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: “There was always a danger that the end of the transition period would mean losing wider international market access that we enjoyed as part of EU membership.

“So it’s really encouraging to see new trade deals secured with trading partners like Canada.”  

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