Canada is seeking to secure sweeping access to the British market for its farmers in trade talks, after UK concessions to Australia threatened to open the floodgates for food imports.
Ottawa believes it can secure an ambitious deal on agriculture in negotiations later this year and hopes to take inspiration from the generous agreement set to be sealed with Australia, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
It came as Whitehall sources said a trade deal with Australia would pave the way for a New Zealand agreement within weeks, with Wellington expected to be offered similar terms.
The UK is about to propose a tariff-free, quota-free deal with Australia, phased in over 15 years, after a bitter row about protecting British farmers divided the Cabinet. A source close to Canada’s trade team said Ottawa has been watching Australian talks closely and wants a better offer than its agriculture industry gets under an agreement with the European Union.
A Canadian source said: “There are areas where we think we can move further on agriculture with the UK, since we are only negotiating with one country rather than 28.
“We would learn from that [Australia] agreement… It would help inform some areas where the UK is looking to position themselves.”
By Tom Rees and Louis Ashworth / Telegraph
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