British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants an EU-UK trade deal based on the one clinched between the bloc and Canada, The Times reported on 31 January, the day of Britain’s exit from the EU.
The newspaper said that in a keynote speech on Monday, Johnson will allegedly signal his readiness to accept the so-called “off-the-shelf” Canada model which was first initiated by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
By mentioning a Canadian-style trade deal with the EU, he is referring to the CETA, or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Under the deal, almost all tariffs on traded goods have been eliminated. Canada is not subject to EU legislation and is not forced to pay the bloc any money under the terms of the trade deal.
The UK Treasury, for its part, warned that the British economy may shrink 4.9 percent under the off-the-shelf deal.
In this vein, The Times quoted three EU leaders as saying that they will block the UK’s any attempt to negotiate a Canada-style free trade deal unless London fails to adhere to key European rules.