Bill Morneau extols virtues of EU, NAFTA trade deals in British interview

Canada expects Britain to be part of the CETA trade deal between Canada and the European Union, and stands ready to work with Britain on how the system will function after Brexit, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told BBC radio on Wednesday.

Britain has voted to leave the EU but remains a member for now. Negotiations on the terms of its exit and of its future relationship with the EU are expected to start next year. “Our expectation is that Britain will ratify the CETA deal and be part of that deal with Canada,” Morneau said.

Asked whether the CETA deal would automatically result in a Canada-Britain free trade deal on the same terms after Brexit, he said:

“We’re going to respect the agreement that the UK has with Europe … and stand ready to work together after that’s concluded.”

As an EU member, Britain is not supposed to negotiate separate trade deals with third parties.

Morneau also said the NAFTA trade agreement with the United States and Mexico had been very positive for Canada, and his country would work to show its benefits to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has been critical of NAFTA.

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