News

Canada fuels spat with Kemi Badenoch saying NO trade talks are happening despite minister denying that discussions have ‘broken down’


Canada has fuelled a spat with Kemi Badenoch by contradicting the minister’s claim that the countries are still engaged in trade talks. 

The high commissioner to the UK, Ralph Goodale, has told MPs that no discussions of any kind are happening. 

The intervention risks inflaming tensions after Ms Badenoch paused negotiations on a new free trade agreement last month, amid a standoff over hormone-treated beef.

However, she told the Commons that contacts over a looming deadline for imposing more rules of origin restrictions on car exports were continuing.

After Brexit the UK and Canada rolled over a pact with the EU including preferential terms for car manufacturers, but these are due to expire at the end of March.

‘Talks have not broken down. There are multiple discussions that we are having with Canada,’ Ms Badenoch said in the House on January 29.

Canada has fuelled a spat with Kemi Badenoch by contradicting the minister's claim that the countries are still engaged in trade talks

Canada has fuelled a spat with Kemi Badenoch by contradicting the minister’s claim that the countries are still engaged in trade talks

‘On cheese, where we have not come to an agreement, however, the quotas that we have in CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) with Canada… are more than what we are selling to Canada at the moment… so we are not particularly concerned about that, although it is disappointing.

‘We have a rules-of-origin discussion that is ongoing. And we have an FTA discussion, which I have paused, for reasons which he will know.’

In a letter to the Commons Business Committee, dated February 16 and seen by the Financial Times, Mr Goodale wrote that he is ‘disappointed with the unilateral pause in these negotiations’. 

He added: ‘As far as I’m aware, since the UK announced its pause on January 25, there have been neither negotiations nor technical discussions with respect to any of the outstanding issues — including British access to Canada’s Tariff Rate Quotas for cheese and the approaching expiry of cumulation provisions respecting Rules of Origin.’

Labour MP Liam Byrne, the committee’s chair, demanded that Ms Badenoch correct the record. 

‘It is essential the secretary of state now explains why the Canadians’ account of the talks is so utterly at variance with what she told the House of Commons,’ he told the FT.

The high commissioner to the UK, Ralph Goodale, has told MPs that no discussions of any kind are happening

The high commissioner to the UK, Ralph Goodale, has told MPs that no discussions of any kind are happening

 



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button