Canada-European Union Agreements to Continue to Apply to the United Kingdom During Brexit Transition Period

February 3, 2020 – Global Affairs Canada issued the following statement on January 31, 2020:

“The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (U.K.) and European Union (EU) are both important partners for Canada and Canadian businesses. Canada welcomes the EU and the U.K. reaching a mutually agreeable path forward on the U.K.’s orderly departure from the EU, which includes a transition period until at least December 31, 2020.

“Over the past few years in preparation for Brexit, our government has actively worked with U.K. ministers and government officials, including having our Prime Ministers directly engaged, to ensure a solid path forward for our two countries.

“We know that continuity and stability is important for Canadians, as well as for our businesses and entrepreneurs as they export and do business with the U.K.

“During the Brexit transition period, all Canada-EU agreements will continue to apply to the U.K. This includes the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)—which means that trade between Canada and the U.K. will continue to benefit from duty-free access on 98% of products, and businesses should see no change in how they trade with the U.K. during this transition period.

“Canadian travellers should also not experience any changes in travel to and from the U.K.

“We are committed to continuing to strengthen our relationships with both the EU and the U.K. to advance our economies, and to help our entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create more jobs for people across our countries.”

Also, the Government of Canada has posted in Canada Gazette publication notice in Part 1, Vol.154, Number 5: Canada’s international agreements with the European Union post-Brexit

The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed on a Withdrawal Agreement that sets the conditions of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. This Withdrawal Agreement comes into force on January 31, 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom contains provisions pertaining to the applicability of the European Union’s agreements with international partners, such as Canada. The Agreement states that the United Kingdom shall be bound by the obligations stemming from these agreements during the post-Brexit transition period that is expected to last until December 31, 2020, with a possibility of being extended by one or two years.

As a result, the European Union will interpret its agreements with Canada as applying to the United Kingdom for the duration of this transition period. In order to ensure an orderly transition in Canada–United Kingdom relations and to minimize the effect of Brexit on Canadian stakeholders, Canada has agreed, through a decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to continue to interpret its agreements with the European Union as applying to the United Kingdom as though the United Kingdom were still a member state of the European Union for the duration of the transition period as defined in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Therefore, through this notice, the Government of Canada wishes to inform Canadians that agreements concluded by Canada with the European Union, with Member States acting on behalf of the European Union, and with the European Union and its Member States acting jointly shall continue to apply to the United Kingdom for the duration of the transition period following its departure from the European Union.

If there is any change to this situation, further communications will be published through the Canada Gazette. For the purposes of this notice, the “European Union” includes the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

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