UK Trade Deals: Japan and Canada

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 7th December 2020.

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Photo of Diane Dodds Diane Dodds DUP 2:15 pm, 7th December 2020

I presume that the Member means in relation to the trade deals with Japan and Canada. Canada is one of our largest partners. The CETA deal means that 98% of all products that pass between the countries, and now the United Kingdom, are tariff-free. That is a huge boost to the economy of Northern Ireland and the wider economy of the United Kingdom.

The good news about the Canada deal is that Canada is committed not only to the rollover of the deal signed in November but the renegotiation of parts of that deal so that it is bespoke to the rest of the United Kingdom. It is a really important trade deal for Northern Ireland.

The Japan trade deal is also important. Japan is one of the largest importers of agricultural produce in the world. There is an enormous opportunity to take our product to that market. That is another extremely important trade deal for the Northern Ireland economy. The crux of the matter for Northern Ireland will be making sure that we are a full part of those trade deals, notwithstanding the implications of the Northern Ireland protocol.