Trade Negotiations Update
Since the House adjourned for conference recess, the Department for Business and Trade has made good progress on two key trade negotiations. This statement provides Parliament with an update on the UK’s trade negotiations with Switzerland and Canada.
UK-Switzeriand Trade Negotiations
The second round of negotiations on a UK-Switzerland enhanced free trade agreement took place from 18 September to 6 October.
During the round, which was virtual, UK officials held discussions with their Swiss counterparts across all negotiation areas. The talks were technical in nature, focusing on trade policy priorities for both countries and in a number of chapters, supported by draft treaty text. This has enabled further progress in identifying areas of alignment. Discussions continue to be constructive and collaborative, with both sides agreeing next steps to ensure further progress at round 3, which is scheduled for later this year.
These negotiations demonstrate our shared ambition to agree a modern, comprehensive agreement that reflects the current and future UK-Swiss trade relationship.
The UK is working to negotiate an agreement that delivers modern services and investment provisions, while further removing tariff barriers to create mutually beneficial commercially meaningful opportunities for our world-class producers and exporters.
UK-Canada Trade Negotiations
The seventh round of UK-Canada free trade agreement negotiations took place from 11 September to 15 September. This round was conducted in a fully virtual fashion, with negotiations taking place online across all sessions.
Technical discussions were held across 23 policy areas over 53 separate sessions. They included detailed discussions on treaty text.
Both parties built on the momentum from agreeing in principle UK accession to CPTPP in March 2023. The negotiations continue to reflect our shared ambition to secure a progressive deal which strengthens our existing trading relationship, already worth over £24.8 billion in the year to Q3 2022.
The Government remain clear that any deal we sign, including with Switzerland and Canada, will be in the best interests of the British people and the United Kingdom economy. We will not compromise on our high environmental and labour protections, public health, animal welfare and food standards, and we will maintain our right to regulate in the public interest. We are also clear that during these negotiations, the NHS, and the services it provides is not on the table.
His Majesty’s Government will continue to work closely with Switzerland and Canada to ensure negotiations proceed at pace and take place on terms that are right for the UK.
The Government will continue to keep Parliament updated as these negotiations progress.