By Reuters NEWS StaffThe UK, the EU and Canada have agreed to work out a deal to boost the UK’s trade with Europe, despite a sharp slowdown in world trade in 2016.
The bloc’s president, Donald Tusk, told the leaders of Britain, France and Germany on Thursday they had agreed on a deal aimed at boosting trade, which will see the bloc increase direct tariffs by 2 percentage points, from a current level of 2 per cent to 3 per cent.
Tusk’s talks with Tusk’s successor, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed a summit between Tusk and Merkel on Monday.
A draft agreement will be signed on Wednesday, Tusk said, adding: “We are very confident about this.”
The EU will seek to ensure the deal does not hamper the bloc’s efforts to modernise and boost the economy, Turchin said.
Merkel said: “This is a very big deal for Britain and we are very pleased to have it in place.”
But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters after the talks that there were still many details to be worked out.
“There is still a lot of detail to work through, but it’s been a very positive and productive meeting,” he said.
Turchin also said he was confident the deal would be signed by the end of the year, and that a European Union summit would be held in May, possibly in Dublin.
The EU is in talks with the UK on the trade pact, which would be the EU’s largest bilateral trade deal, but is currently focused on reducing its trade deficit with Britain.
A separate trade pact between the United States and the EU would not take effect until the end.