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Canada-U.K. Free Trade: Balancing Progressive Trade Policies And Economic Benefits


  • Eugene Beaulieu

    (University of Calgary)

  • Kamala Dawar

    (Sussex University)

  • Lindsey Garner-Knapp

    (University of Edinburgh)


One of the major factors that motivated a majority of Britons to vote in favour of leaving the EU was their disenchantment with Europe’s current approach to trade. There is solid evidence of a link between the vote for Brexit and the feelings of dissatisfied voters who see themselves being left behind in the current economy. However, the economic cost that Britain faces in departing the EU will be significant, and one key way to mitigate it will be by quickly replacing the loss of access to the EU’s common market and all of the EU’s trade agreements with new U.K. trade agreements. Canada appears to be one of the most eager to sign an early deal with the U.K. However, if it is to be a successful free trade agreement, it should aim to address and alleviate the same concerns about trade that led so many British voters to turn against their deal with the EU. Otherwise, it could result in stoking the same anger and dissatisfaction that has fuelled recent political trouble in Britain. This appears to be an ideal opportunity for the Canadian government to advance the “progressive†trade agenda it has advocated for in recent agreements it has signed with the U.S., Europe and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugene Beaulieu & Kamala Dawar & Lindsey Garner-Knapp, 2019. "Canada-U.K. Free Trade: Balancing Progressive Trade Policies And Economic Benefits," SPP Briefing Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 12(43), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:clh:briefi:v:12:y:2019:i:43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sascha O Becker & Thiemo Fetzer & Dennis Novy, 2017. "Who voted for Brexit? A comprehensive district-level analysis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 601-650.
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    7. Davies, Ronald B. & Studnicka, Zuzanna, 2018. "The heterogeneous impact of Brexit: Early indications from the FTSE," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-17.
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