The UK has sought advice from Canada on how to cut a trade agreement with the European Union following the Brexit vote.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister who is scheduled to meet Liam Fox, the UK’s new secretary of state for international trade, on Friday afternoon, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme her team had been having “technical exchanges” with the UK about its recently finalised deal with the EU.
David Davis, the new minister for Brexit, said on Thursday that his preferred model for the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU is Canada’s comprehensive and economic trade agreement, known as Ceta.
Freeland said on Friday: “We have been sharing at a technical level, details of how Ceta works.”
However, she said securing such deals was “very very complicated”. She added: “There are 300 trade negotiators in Canada. It takes a big expert team to negotiate trade agreements,” Freeland said.
The UK does not have the expertise to negotiate trade deals, as for decades agreements have been conducted at EU level. Whitehall is scouring business, the European commission, and friendly countries including Canada, for trade specialists to help lead talks.
via The Guardian