The deal will come fully into once all EU members have ratified it and will be rolled over into UK law when the UK leaves the EU
The UK has announced it has ratified the EU- Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which it said would help British businesses export, and consumers greater choice and lower prices.
The deal removes 98 per cent of export duties with only certain agricultural goods still subject to those fees under the new agreement.
The agreement has been provisionally applied since September 2017, with UK exports to Canada growing by 10.1 per cent in that time.
The Government said the UK and Canadian Prime Ministers have both committed to seeking to seamlessly transition CETA into a bilateral deal allowing the UK and Canadian companies to enjoy as free and frictionless trade as possible after the UK leaves the European Union.
It removed ‘significant barriers’ for the food and drink industry, which Government believed would boost British SMEs and give more consumer choice.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said it was ‘one of the most ambitious free trade agreements and the UK was already feeling the benefits.
“The agreement eliminates almost every tariff on goods traded between our two countries and we will transition it into UK law after we leave the European Union so that businesses can continue to enjoy as free and frictionless trade as possible.
“We stand with Canada as the strongest of allies and we share a commitment to an ambitious global free trade agenda in the face of increase protectionist tendencies around the world.”
The UK was the 12th country to ratify the agreement, which will come fully into force once it has been ratified by all EU member states and some tariffs will be gradually reduced over 7 years.
International Market Development Director at AHDB, Dr Phil Hadley said: “This agreement is good news for meat exporters here in the UK and marks an important step towards our future trading relationship with Canada.
“Our world-renowned reputation for high standards of animal welfare and sustainable production is popular with Canadian consumers who value and demand healthy and nutritious products.”
CETA has so far been ratified by Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Total UK exports to Canada grew by 13.7 per cent last year and were worth £9.99 billion.