Sunday, November 22, 2020

Trudeau, Johnson announce Canada-UK trade deal ahead of Brexit deadline

Global News is interesting: 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 2 countries ahead of the Dec. 31 Brexit deadline, which would have triggered new tariffs on a range of Canadian exports.

Under the interim deal, the key provision under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would be preserved, which entails the elimination of tariffs on 98 per cent of Canadian exports to Britain. The deal will still require approval by both governments. 

The deal comes after weeks of negotiations since the summer to strike a deal which will help avoid triggering a tariff on exports such as seafood, beef and autos on Jan. 1. 

Brexit (a combination of "British" and "Exit") is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) on 31 January 2020. The UK is to date the first and only country to formally leave the EU after 47 years of membership and cautious integration within the bloc after it first joined its predecessor, the European Communities (EC), on 1 January 1973. It is also thought to be the first country to voluntarily withdraw from an economic and monetary union of countries (although the UK never adopted the Euro). Currently it continues to participate in the European Union Customs Union and European Single Market during a transition period that will certainly end on 31 December 2020.

Brexit: What is the transition period? It seems that the UK left the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 31 January, but that is not the end of the Brexit story. The UK is now in an 11-month period, known as the transition, that keeps the UK bound to the EU's rules.

The transition (also known as the implementation period) will end on 31 December 2020. It cannot be extended beyond that date. It seems that while in transition, the UK remains in both the EU customs union and single market.

This would mean that (until the transition ends) that most things will stay the same. This includes:

- Travelling to and from the EU (including the rules around driving licences and pet passports)
- Freedom of movement (the right to live and work in the EU and vice versa)
- UK-EU trade, which will continue without any extra charges or checks being introduced

In theory, the UK has already left the EU's political institutions. However, many things have stayed the same.

While the UK will no longer have any voting rights, it will continue to follow EU rules during the transition. For example, the European Court of Justice will have the final say over any legal disputes.

Read more information below about Brexit: What is the transition period?

Canada and the UK share a sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and are among the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world. Canada and the UK work closely together in many international organizations.

In recent years, Canada and the UK have placed a high priority on the security relationship, which includes military, law enforcement, and intelligence cooperation.

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 54 sovereign states. Known as the "British Commonwealth", the original members were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Irish Free State, and Newfoundland.

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