As Britain starts the process of leaving the European Union, the U.K.’s top trade negotiator tried to assure Canadian businesses that robust trade between the two nations would not be disrupted.
“The United Kingdom must reforge our relationships with those nations who have been our longest-serving and closest allies,” Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, told an audience at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Thursday. “Ensuring that there is no disruption in our free trade either with Canada or any other partner is a top priority.”
Canada’s trading relationships with two of its largest partners, Britain and the United States, are uncertain as the U.K. moves to exit the EU and President Donald Trump pushes to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement.
Although the British government envisions new free-trade agreements when it leaves the EU, it is unknown how long it will take Britain to break up with the European Union or negotiate fresh trading deals.
The country faces a number of hurdles, including strong opposition from many of its members of Parliament who want to maintain access to EU’s single market.
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