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UK officially leaves the European Union

The United Kingdom (UK) officially left the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020, and is now in a transition period with the EU until at least December 31, 2020.

Both Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have confirmed there will be no impact on UK originating goods under the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) during the transition period.

Canada and the EU have completed informal preliminary talks about rolling over elements of CETA into a bilateral deal, but no date for formal negotiations has been set. In addition to negotiating with the EU and Canada, the UK is also planning to negotiate a series of bilateral deals with the United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand before the end of the year.

The UK and EU now have 11 months to negotiate a deal to avoid a “hard Brexit” which many predict would have dire economic consequences. Reportedly, the UK has said it would offer tariff-free access to trading partners starting for one year in 2021 to insulate the British economy.

Today, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a Canada-style free trade deal, saying the UK would return to the Withdrawal Agreement if such a deal was not reached. The PM also tweeted today

“We are re-emerging, after decades of hibernation, as a campaigner for global free trade”.

For more information, please call Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1213.

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