What can the UK learn from Canada’s awful experience with the EU?

EU’s trade deals : long on time, short on money

Credit: EU Commission

12 mth review: How has the much-vaunted EU-Canada trade deal worked out for Canada?

A year on, Brexit Facts4EU.Org looks at how little a 15-year EU trade negotiation has benefited a Commonwealth cousin.

On 21 September 2017, 15 years of negotiations between the EU Commission and Canada finally resulted in the provisional entry into force of CETA – the “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement”.

Even after 15 years of negotiations by the EU Commission, this deal still has not been ratified by the EU’s member states. Despite this, it was ‘provisionally implemented’ a year ago, so we look at the benefits it has brought to Canada in the last 12 months.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Lessons the UK can learn from Canada's disastrous experience of the EU

  • Negotiating trade deals is the exclusive ‘competence’ of the EU Commission
  • Membership of the EU’s Customs Union (CU) means the UK can’t negotiate on its own behalf
  • Boris Johnson’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement keeps the UK in the CU for years of the Transition Period

How long did CETA take?

  • 2004 : Ottawa, deal framework was agreed, negotiations started
  • 2009 : Prague, negotiations were rebranded as CETA trade deal
  • 2014 : Toronto, a signed ‘in principle’ agreement was presented
  • 2016 : Brussels, deal is vetoed by Belgian region of Wallonia
  • 2017 : Brussels, deal is finally signed and provisionally applied
  • 2019 : The deal is still not yet fully ratified by the EU

How has the EU’s deal worked out for Canada?

The chart below shows two things: Canada’s exports to the EU over the last 12 months, and the proportion of these which went to the UK.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

As can be seen above, Canada’s exports to the EU have barely moved in the last 12 months since the EU trade deal was provisionally implemented - to great fanfare from the EU - a year ago.

And how has the EU’s deal worked out for the UK?

Sadly, the Canadian Statistics office shows that the UK’s exports to Canada have dropped by -1.6% since the EU provisionally implemented its CETA trade deal with Canada. $8,057 million in the last 12 months, compared to $8,184 million in the 12 months before.

In the last 12 months of the EU-Canada trade deal alone (from Sep 2018), the UK's monthly exports have dropped by -32%.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

When the UK leaves the EU, CETA is worth virtually nothing to Canada

In 2018 Canadians sold goods worth $46.8 billion of goods to the EU. A great result. The problem is that $17.9 billion (38%) of that was actually sold to the UK.

When the UK is no longer part of the EU, Canada's Free Trade Agreement with the EU will suddenly be worth a whole lot less. Currently that means just 62% of Canada’s total exports in 2018 to the EU. And Canada's exports to the EU have barely increased.

NOTE: All data comes from Statistics Canada - the Canadian government's official statistics agency.
All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars.

It gets worse for Canada

Looking at Canada’s increase in exports to the EU last year, they grew by just 2.3% - virtually static after allowing for inflation.


This trade deal, conducted by the EU Commission, has taken 15 years so far

In all conscience, can any Remainer say that this has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster? And yet the EU Commission continues to trumpet its achievement.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The EU-Canada trade agreement has now been in action for a year and I'm pleased with the progress made so far.”

“I'm happy to say that our partnership with Canada is stronger than ever – strategically as well as economically. Together, we are standing up for an open and rules-based international trading order. CETA is a clear demonstration of that.”

The PM’s proposed new Withdrawal Agreement does not cover trade

We continue to believe that many British voters do not appreciate that the ‘deal’ with the EU, which is currently being negotiated in Brussels, is in fact another EU Treaty.

It specifically is not a trade deal. Not only that but it includes a Transition Period, during which the UK will remain in the Customs Union and Single Market for years.

Perhaps if the Canadian experience is anything to go by, we should all be happy that trade is not on the agenda.

Much better off out of this dysfunctional institution.

Highly-researched articles such as the one above take a lot of time. You don't see this important information on the BBC, nor on other sites unless we sometimes get these pieces into the mainstream press. We are still seeking donations, desperately. Please help us to keep up the pressure for Brexit. Quick and secure methods for making a donation are below. Thank you.

[ Sources: Statistics Canada (official agency of Canadian govt) | EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 13 Oct 2019

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