Understanding the future of Canada-UK Trade

Lead Research Organisation: University of Winchester
Department Name: Faculty of Business, Law and Sport


The close cultural and economic links that exist between the United Kingdom and Canada provide a
number of opportunities post-Brexit for the investigation of how the two countries may be able to expand
their existing trade relationship. According to Statistics Canada1, in 2017 the total trade between Canada
and the United Kingdom amounted to approximately 27 billion Canadian dollars making the United
Kingdom the 4th largest single trading partner for Canada, after the United States, China and Mexico.
Future policies for expanding trade between both countries can benefit from the opportunity to consider
a Circular Economy approach. A Circular Economy is an economic exchange that integrates social,
economic and environmental sustainability. Instead of the traditional linear economy of extraction,
production, distribution and consumption with significant waste generated in the process, a Circular
Economy leads to energy savings and waste elimination by reducing, recycling, remanufacturing and
upcycling production. Encouraging trade relationships designed to create a Circular Economy for both
trading partners will contribute to their own sustainability goals. However, the measures required for
such a transformation may challenge existing social, institutional, and technological norms. In this
context, understanding the balance between costs and benefits becomes increasingly important to justify
changes. Researching to find the gaps in our current knowledge of trading relationships and the impact
of a Circular Economy approach will assist in determining what that balance might be and what future
measures should be taken.

Planned Impact

Impacts of the Proposed Synthesis
This work will identify potential UK-Canada industry circular trade interactions for in-depth future
research and trade opportunities. The report will also include background research to support the
development of a future framework for how UK-Canada trade relationships would be managed and
governed based on Circular Economy principles, including possible dispute resolution mechanisms and
structures and mechanisms for fostering inclusive and transparent engagement of citizens and
stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement would be a basis for ensuring mutual prosperity and sustainability
with special considerations for equity and inclusion, labour, and the environment. The UK, Canada and
other countries may use the research findings when considering other circular bilateral trade
relationships. Business may use this knowledge, potentially spurring more sustainable international trade.


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Description 1) Some aspects of the Canada-Europe trade agreement (CETA) could be a foundation for a future circular economy trade agreement, but CETA chapters do not explicitly refer to the circular economy. A future trade agreement between Canada and the UK could revise sections to include circularity.
2) Circular economy trade could have spill over effects supporting new technological developments.
3) Enshrining circular economy principles into trade agreements could reinforce economic commitments to internalize and reduce negative externalities that are costs borne by societies and future generations.
4) The complexity of issue linkages in trade agreements would increase with circularity across industries and countries. The clarity of and the ability to enforce agreements is in tension with this complexity. The structure of the working groups and multiple stakeholders involved could facilitate or hinder increasingly complex negotiations.
5) Evidence for the gains from circular economy trade could be addressed in future research. Research could first establish a baseline of gains between Canada, the UK, and other countries and then investigate how a circular economy approach could increase gains from trade.
6) Further research could shed light on the optimal negotiating conditions for circular economy trade and could clarify which industries are most prepared to engage in circular economy trade to increase the likelihood of implementation.
Exploitation Route • Additional research prior to trade negotiations may consider which stakeholders should be involved directly versus indirectly so as to ensure a thorough exploration of complex issue linkages, working group structures, scenario analyses techniques to simulate negotiation strategies leading to gains from trade and foreign direct investment across sectors, which industries are more likely to demonstrate early successes in circular economy trade, and what incentives and enforcement mechanisms are needed in trade agreements.
• Establishment of a common understanding of circularity must be consistently communicated and applied across industries and countries.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmace

URL https://theconversation.com/post-brexit-the-u-k-and-canada-can-fuel-global-sustainability-108133
Description The research involved interviews with senior managers in the private sector. The responses illustrated the absence of a coherent, transferable and agreed definition of the circular economy and sustainable growth. Further discussions continue with public and private organisations to highlight the economic and social benefits of embedding the circular economy in operations and projects. The findings the research are relevant to the public, private and third sector in making clear the current literature and gaps in the circular economy. More public-private initiates are being undertaken to ensure the circular economy contributes to sustainable economic growth and resource allocation & longevity.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services