Boris Johnson: Canada needs more 'quality British cheese'
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The Prime Minister said an agreement is being held up by reluctance in Ottawa to “allow too much British cheese” into the market, and insisted that it’s just the thing that is “really needed” by Canadian shoppers. His comments came as the UK prepares to launch new trade negotiations with Canada.
Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said Britain wants the deal to be “pioneering in digital and services trade, and bolder in our commitments to the environment.”
Speaking to Canadian broadcaster CBC, Mr Johnson said the hurdle caused by Canadians’ scepticism of UK dairy products would have to dissipate in order for a pact to be sealed.
He said: “I’m hopeful that we will be able to do a thoroughgoing free trade deal.
“As I recall, we were slightly held up by the Canadian reluctance to allow too much British cheese to tempt the palates of Canadians.
“I think what’s really needed now is more affordable, high-quality British cheese in Canada and I hope that we can do a deal to allow that.”
He added: “We’re very hopeful that we can do a great deal.
“There are big opportunities for Canadian business here in the UK: we’re a giant market.”
Last year Canada and Britain signed a deal to continue their pre-Brexit trading agreements.
This secured tariff-free exports on 98 percent of goods heading to Canada.
But London wants to strike an enhanced deal to open up the market to British firms and farmers.
The UK said new talks would begin at the end of the year.
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Last year the UK exported more than £11 billion worth of goods and services to Canada.
And overall trade with Canada was worth £22.8bn in 2019.
Mr Johnson will meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall next month.
Last week the two men spoke on the phone to discuss their common policy goals to tackle climate change.
They also talked about ways to increase global access to Covid vaccines.
In just two weeks the Cornish village of Carbis Bay will play host to world leaders for high-stakes meeting.
US President Joe Biden is set to make his first trip to the UK since taking office in January.
The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
The group regards itself as “a community of values” and holds human rights and freedom among its key principles.
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