“A fantastic deal” – Prime Minister Bors Johnson welcomes an agreement with Canada that paves the way for further negotiations. Meanwhile, his finance minister does not want to return to the austerity measures of earlier years.

Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit in London in August 2019

Britain has signed a preliminary trade agreement with Canada. The agreement signed on Saturday paves the way for future negotiations on a new, adapted agreement between the two countries, the British government said.

“This is a fantastic deal for the UK, securing transatlantic trade with one of our closest allies,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “British companies export everything from electric cars to sparkling wine to Canada, and today’s deal will see the trade move from strength to strength.”

After withdrawing from the EU in January, Great Britain continues to trade with other countries within the framework of the European Union. The transition phase should end on December 31st. Without new bilateral trade agreements, trade with countries could be affected by tariffs and bureaucracy. The provisional deal with Canada is the UK’s second major trade deal after Brexit. Britain signed a free trade agreement with Japan in October.

Planned overspending

Great Britain is not only realigning itself in trade policy, there is also a turning point in fiscal policy: For example, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak does not want to return to the rigid austerity course of previous years despite the rising national debt as a result of the Corona crisis. He will announce “no austerity measures”, Sunak told Sky News on Sunday with a view to his budget presentation planned for Wednesday. Instead, there will be overspending in the public service – “and a fairly substantial increase”. The crisis has torn a £ 200 billion hole in Sunak’s financial plans.

Great Britain is suffering particularly badly economically from the Corona crisis. The Bank of England predicts that gross domestic product is likely to collapse at a record rate of eleven percent in 2020. The contact restrictions imposed in November in the fight against the corona pandemic primarily affect the service sector, which is particularly large in Great Britain and accounts for around 80 percent of economic output.

What are the rules at Christmas?

In view of the second corona wave, according to Sunak, the British have to be prepared not to be able to celebrate a normal Christmas. “As frustrating as it is for all of us, Christmas isn’t going to be normal this year,” he said. However, according to a report by the newspaper “Telegraph”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to relax some regulations between December 22nd and 28th. Johnson will announce details of new corona measures on Monday, as a government spokesman for the German Press Agency in London said.

In surveys, many Brits said they would break pandemic rules in order to be able to visit their relatives at Christmas. According to a report by the station Sky News, the churches should also be open over Christmas and visits to pubs and restaurants should be made possible under certain conditions.

There is still a partial lockdown in England until the beginning of December. During this time, very strict contact restrictions apply and most shops are closed. Schools and universities, however, are open. After that, according to Downing Street, the three-tier system will apply again, in which measures of different severity will take effect. Each British part of the country decides on its own measures in the fight against the coronavirus.