Liberals plan to table Canada-U.K. trade deal this week as Brexit deadline looms

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with International Trade Minister Mary Ng and U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss on Saturday announced a new trade deal between the two countries ahead of the Dec. 31 Brexit deadline, which would have triggered new tariffs on a range of Canadian exports – Nov 21, 2020

The federal government plans to table legislation to implement its new trade deal with the U.K. this week, as the Brexit deadline looms at the end of the month.

International Trade Minister Mary Ng put the House of Commons on notice Monday evening that the government intended to introduce its bill on “trade continuity” with the U.K. shortly.

A spokesperson for her office confirmed the plan is to table the bill before the House of Commons rises for more than a month at the end of the week.

“We plan to table the implementation bill before the holidays,” said Youmy Han, press secretary for Ng.

“We look forward to working with parliamentarians from all sides of the House to support the timely parliamentary approval of the Canada-UK TCA (trade continuity agreement) so that businesses and all Canadians get the stability they need right now.”

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READ MORE: Canada, Britain strike new trade deal ahead of Brexit deadline

Canadian and British officials struck the interim deal late last month, the terms of which remain unclear, and which is expected to largely replace the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with regards to trade with the U.K.

While the U.K. formally left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020, the terms of its exit left a one-year grace period of sorts during which certain trade provisions remained in place — effectively buying time for the U.K. and its partners to come up with the new terms that will govern how they work together.

READ MORE: Trudeau says he’s confident Brexit will cause minimal disruption to Canadian economy

CETA will no longer apply to the U.K. on Dec. 31, 2020.

The interim deal set to be tabled this week isn’t a permanent replacement, though.

The trade continuity agreement lays out the terms of trade for another year but officials are still working on reaching a more permanent accord.

The U.K. is Canada’s fifth-largest trading partner, with a total of $29 billion flowing between the two countries in economic activity each year.

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— With files from the Canadian Press.

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