Trade Minister sets sight on trade deal with Canada in boost to Brexit Britain

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The Brexit-backing Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade took to social media to tell his 8,845 followers that he has been working on deepening the UK’s trading relationship with Canada. Mr Jayawardena, who had served as deputy chairman of Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in 2020, revealed he visited the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia.

Writing on Twitter about his visit, the North East Hampshire MP said he had been “exploring how to deepen our trading relationship” and outlined our “intentions for a new trade deal”.

The news also comes after the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics found UK imports from the EU fell by as much as 25 percent relative to those from elsewhere in 2021.

However, Britain has emerged as an independent trading nation since it severed ties with the European Union’s single market and customs union in January 2021.

It has signed several bespoke trade agreements, including deals with the Brussels bloc, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

The UK also rolled over several arrangements penned while it was a member of the EU, which includes the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement.

It now sets sights on signing even more agreements with nations such as India, Canada and up to 20 American states.

Penny Mordaunt, who is considered a dark horse in the race to succeed Mr Johnson at Number 10, has been leading the stateside charge.

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Trade Minister sets sights on trade deal with Canada in boost to Brexit Britain

Trade Minister sets sights on trade deal with Canada in boost to Brexit Britain (Image: Getty)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau (right)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau (right) (Image: Getty)

The Brexit-backing Portsmouth North MP also highlighted the UK has seen a 13 percent boost in trade with Jordan after Britain signed a key deal with the Middle Eastern nation.

Jason Kenney, who became Premier of Alberta in 2019, also met with Mr Jayawardena.

Posting a snap of the pair shaking hands, Mr Kenney said: “Had a great meeting about negotiations toward a Canada-UK free trade agreement, labour mobility, global supply chains, and energy security in light of Putin’s war on Ukraine.”

In a piece written in Business in Vancouver, the UK Trade Minister went into detail about Brexit Britain’s plan to sign a trade deal with Canada.

He said: “I’ve arrived in Vancouver to mark the start of my five-day visit to Canada, where I will be promoting our highly ambitious trade negotiations, building support for British accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and building momentum around addressing trade barriers between our two countries.

“A trade deal between our two countries will build on our trading relationship, which was worth over £19 billion ($31 billion) in 2020.

“We want to increase that, broaden it to businesses of all sizes and pursue a truly modern deal.”

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Brexit in Daily Express front pages

Brexit in Daily Express front pages (Image: Express)

Mary Ng, who was appointed as Justin Trudeau’s International Trade Minister in 2018, also penned a piece highlighting the benefits of signing an accord with Brexit Britain.

Writing in the Times, she said: “For Canada, the UK is not just a critical ally, but also one of our longest-standing friends.

“We share close people-to-people ties as well as shared values and strong economic links.

“The UK was Canada’s third-largest trading partner in 2021, with £24.5 billion in goods and services flowing between our two countries.

“It has never been more important for countries like Canada and the UK to work together to strengthen the rules-based trading system and protect our people and our businesses.”

She added: “We are going to work towards an ambitious, progressive and comprehensive free trade agreement that best reflects Canada’s and the United Kingdom’s shared values.

“We are going to set a new benchmark agreement that will raise the bar for traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, minority ethnic and Indigenous peoples, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, making it easier for them to feel the full benefits of trade.

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Penny Mordaunt is leading the UK's charge to sign trade deals with 20 US states.

Penny Mordaunt is leading the UK’s charge to sign trade deals with 20 US states. (Image: Getty)

Ms Ng kickstarted negotiations with her UK counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan in March.

Ms Ng kickstarted negotiations with her UK counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan in March. (Image: Getty)

“It is an agreement that advances high standards for the environment and labour, and one that helps our businesses thrive into the future by benefitting from digital trade.

“This new free-trade deal will help to make it easier for companies in both countries to export the innovative products and services that will keep our economies on the cutting edge and address the many challenges we face, including climate change, creating the conditions to attract investment — in both directions — to build the green economy of the future.”

Ms Ng kickstarted negotiations with her UK counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan in March.

Ms Trevelyan said at the time: “The UK and Canada are close friends and international allies who believe in the value that free and fair trade brings to livelihoods and communities.

“Our trading relationship with Canada was worth over £19 billion a year in 2020 and there is huge potential to strengthen and grow trade between our two countries.

“We want a new deal for the 21st century – one that will boost our thriving services sector, promote higher standards of living and act as a beacon for others to follow in its world-leading commitments on climate change and women’s economic empowerment.”

The news comes shortly after the Prime Minister vowed to make a “massive push” towards striking a post-Brexit trade deal with India after meeting Narendra Modi in Delhi.