On July 28, 2018, Global Affairs Canada published a notice in the Canada Gazette regarding Canada’s continued trade relationship with the United Kingdom post-Brexit. Excerpts from that notice follow:
Through this notice, the Government of Canada wishes to inform Canadians of the expected change to the scope of application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “CETA”) between Canada and the European Union, resulting from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, as well as of Canada’s continued engagement with the United Kingdom on trade issues.
At the time of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, the United Kingdom will cease to be considered a party to the European Union treaties and, thus, will lose those treaties’ benefits and obligations. This withdrawal will affect all treaties between Canada and the European Union, including CETA, which has been provisionally applied since September 21, 2017.
International trade is a key driver of economic growth, contributing to a prosperous middle class. The Government of Canada is committed to maintaining predictable and stable trade relations with the United Kingdom following its withdrawal from the European Union. Since countries’ future trade relations with the United Kingdom will be affected by the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Canada is closely following those negotiations and is hopeful that the parties will reach an agreement soon.
One of the possible outcomes of the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union includes the possibility for a time-limited transition period following Brexit during which the United Kingdom would, in some aspects, continue to be treated like a Member State of the European Union. Depending on the details and other outcomes of such a transition period, Canada would consent to the United Kingdom remaining party to CETA and all other Canada–European Union agreements.
Should the European Union and the United Kingdom not reach an agreement on their future relationship in time for Brexit, the Government of Canada is discussing a transitional agreement with the United Kingdom that will allow a seamless transition of CETA, while respecting the United Kingdom’s lack of jurisdiction to negotiate free trade agreements while it is a Member State of the European Union. Post-Brexit, once the United Kingdom has the legal competence to negotiate trade agreements, Canada will work with the United Kingdom to ensure we take full advantage of our particular bilateral trade relationship.
The Government of Canada will continue to inform Canadians as it continues to actively engage the European Union and the United Kingdom in an effort to minimize disruptions from Brexit for Canadians.