On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union on March 30, 2019. This withdrawal from the European Union (EU) is also known as “Brexit”.
Canada following closely
Once Brexit occurs, the UK will no longer be considered a party to EU treaties, including the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canada is closely following the ongoing negotiations between the UK and the EU since Canada’s future trade relations with the UK will be affected by the outcome of the negotiations. One of the possible outcomes of the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU includes the possibility for a time-limited transition period following Brexit during which the UK would, in some aspects, continue to be treated like an EU Member State. Depending on the details and other outcomes of such a transition period, Canada would consent to the UK remaining party to CETA.
Working with the UK
Should the EU and the UK not reach an agreement on their future relationship in time for Brexit, the Government of Canada is discussing a transitional agreement with the UK that would allow a seamless transition of CETA, while respecting the United Kingdom’s lack of jurisdiction to negotiate free trade agreements while it is a Member State of the European Union. Post-Brexit, once the United Kingdom has the legal competence to negotiate trade agreements, Canada will work with the United Kingdom to ensure we take full advantage of our bilateral trade relationship.
The Government of Canada will continue to inform Canadians as it continues to actively engage the European Union and the United Kingdom in an effort to minimize disruptions from Brexit for Canadians.