United Kingdom signs trade deal with Canada to prepare for Brexit

United Kingdom signs trade deal with Canada to prepare for Brexit”

Barnier stressed on Monday that negotiators were running out of time to make a Jan 1 deadline and that "fundamental divergences still remain".

The European Union's Brexit negotiator said on Monday that big differences persisted in trade talks with Britain but that both sides were pushing hard for a deal, writes Gabriela Baczynska.

Both sides are struggling to have a Brexit deal before the December 31 deadline with the latest halt in the negotiations came due to the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier's team member testing positive on the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Friday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued one of the most upbeat assessments of the state of post-Brexit trade negotiations in several weeks, saying the EU had seen "in the last days better progress, more movement on important files".

The British prime minister was speaking after his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison received an accolade at a virtual Policy Exchange think tank event.

The PM and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau made the "agreement in principle" in a video call, the Department for International Trade said.

"And the people of Australia able to get Penguins in exchange".

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"It is now vital that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss show the same urgency in securing the other 14 outstanding continuity agreements with countries like Mexico, Ghana and Singapore, where a total of £60bn of United Kingdom trade is still at risk and time is beginning to run out", she added.

A technology glitch stopped Mr Johnson virtually presenting the award to Mr Morrison, but he came back into the event after the Australian PM made a speech praising global co-operation.

"The UK is bonded by history, culture and transatlantic trade with our friends and allies in Canada, and we want to continue to build partnerships around the world that support our shared values of freedom and democracy, and today marks another step towards membership of a group of like-minded nations- the Trans-Pacific Partnership", Truss added.

The think tank said Mr Morrison received the award "in recognition of his work in support of the worldwide rules-based order".

The government said the move clears the way for talks to begin next year on a new comprehensive deal with Canada.

The two countries agreed that they will seek further economic cooperation starting next year in a specific British-Canadadian deal on areas such as digital trade.

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