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Britain, Canada launch free trade talks

OTTAWA (AFP) – Britain and Canada announced on Thursday the launch of bilateral free trade negotiations, as London looks to firm up trade access since formally leaving the European Union (EU) last year.

“I am thrilled to announce that Canada and the United Kingdom are officially launching negotiations towards a new free trade agreement,” Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng told a joint news conference in Ottawa with her British counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Negotiations, Ng said, are expected to take two years. London has so far signed agreements with non-EU European countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), but also more distant countries such as Japan and more recently Australia and New Zealand.