British trade minister eyes access to Canadian dairy market as Brexit creeps closer

With the U.K. set to leave the EU near the end of March, Britain’s trade minister, Liam Fox, seems to be keeping an eye on what he wants to happen after the fact.

Many pro Brexiters believe that England would turn to the United States for a quick trade deal since President Donald Trump has shown support for the decision.  But what about a deal with Canada who is is relatively fresh off of completing a deal on the CETA deal which at the time included the United Kingdom?

In a Globe and Mail article Fox was quoted as saying, “We are well aware from previous trade discussions that that is an issue,” Mr. Fox said on Friday, referring to the supply management system for dairy products that limits imports. “If we want to get access to elements of the Canadian economy, we’ll have to deal with those issues and that’s what trade negotiations are about.”

Fox allude to the CETA deal as a stepping stone to a new Canada/UK deal: “We are discussing with our Canadian partners what we might look for in terms of extensions to CETA to provide additional liberalization.”

For Canadian dairy farmers, countries coming after supply management is nothing new.

“In an trade negotiation with Canada, dairy market access is always a target for other nations but like in most cases its a topic that resonates and in reality is small in proportion to the entire deal.  For the UK who is hurling towards a hard-Brexit dairy market access with Canada is the least of its major issues to do with,” says the host of RealAg Radio, Shaun Haney.

While Prime Minister Trudeau is still under critique by dairy famers, the leader of the official opposition, Andrew Scheer has been a large supporter of supply management and also Brexit.

 

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