Prime Minister Trudeau and the Prime Minister of the U.K., Theresa May, deliver joint remarks
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Prime Minister of Canada): Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us here today on the Hill.
It’s a busy day with the return of the House. But before we get into the routines of Parliament, it’s been my honour to host Prime Minister Theresa May in Canada’s capital for our first official bilateral visit. This year, as we know, our country marks 150 years since Confederation. And it’s fitting that we’re visited by our friends from the U.K., one of our closest partners and strongest allies.
Prime Minister May and I shared an excellent meeting just now, and we have an event and a working dinner planned for later today. We last met at the G7 in Taormina, and today we discussed cooperation on a number of fronts that will grow our economies. Let me tell you about just a few of our initiatives.
The Prime Minister and I agreed that going forward, our foreign defence and development ministers will meet every year for a strategic dialogue on ways to further deepen our relationship. We also talked about trade. As we all know, CETA is almost over the finish line. This agreement will create jobs and stimulate growth for people in Canada and across Europe. Prime Minister May and I discussed the U.K.’s ratification of CETA, as well as the importance of stability and continuity in the Canada - U.K. trading partnership into the future.
And we’ve seen evidence of our strong economic ties just recently. Success stories include the U.K. expansion of the Canadian start-up Hootsuite, and on our soil, the Tesco expansion into Canadian supermarkets.
In that same spirit, today we are pleased to have signed a memorandum of understanding concerning science, technology and innovation. Canada and the United Kingdom are world leaders in these areas. Now, thanks to this agreement, our countries will be working together and sharing information on new technology, including agricultural technology and advanced manufacturing.
We are also pleased to announce a partnership on climate change, clean growth and renewable energy. This initiative will enable our public and private sectors to work together to reach our innovation and clean energy goals. We have similar ambitions with respect to economic growth and we know that our trade partnership will continue for years to come. But we share far more than just economic ties.
We’re committed to working together on the most… on the international stage to address some of our most pressing, difficult challenges. We’ve instructed our officials to develop a joint initiative to enhance the role of women in UN peace support operations. This is part of our broader commitment to the empowerment of women and girls around the world.
We’ve agreed to work together to enhance disaster recovery, reconstruction, and resilience efforts in the future as we prepare for and respond to natural disasters. And we’ll continue to partner in defence and security across Europe and beyond. Friday’s attack in London underlined once again why this close partnership is so vital. And allow me to reiterate once again that all Canadians wish a speedy recovery to those injured.
Canada and the United Kingdom share a deep and rich history with almost a third of Canadians today claiming British ancestry. We share a Queen and the Westminster Parliamentary system, and we share fundamental values, like democracy and the rule of law. The Canada - U.K. friendship has stood the test of time and we will continue to work together in the years ahead to help citizens in both of our countries prosper.
With that, I’m delighted to turn it over to Theresa for a few words.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THERESA MAY (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland): Thank you, Justin, for welcoming me here to Ottawa today.
Canada and the United Kingdom, as you say, of course have a long shared history. And this nation conceived and created 150 years ago has flourished. Over that time, British and Canadian soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women have fought and died alongside each other in the pursuit of freedom. We’ve developed the institutions of Westminster-style democracy, personal rights, and common law. And we celebrate together our shared monarchy and close ties of family and friendship.
My visit to Canada today is not only about recognizing our past, but also looking ahead to our bright future. We are both countries with ambitions to lead on the world stage and progressive values that underpin those ambitions. We are both committed to ensuring our economies work for everyone, not just the privileged few. And that includes eliminating the gender pay gap once and for all. We’ve spoken today about the importance of closing that gap and championing the rights of women and girls around the world. That means ending the tyranny of domestic violence, sexual violence in armed conflict, and educational and economic exclusion.
Our cooperation on this agenda is emblematic of the U.K. and Canada joining forces to share approaches at home and champion our shared values out in the world. We will also be discussing the ways in which our governments will work together to foster innovation, including measures that will allow business to harness the opportunities of clean growth. And we’ve confirmed our joint commitment to supporting the global transition away from a reliance on coal as an energy source. Once again, the U.K. and Canada will lead the way, and I am pleased to announce that the U.K. will aim to phase out unabated coal by 2025.
The U.K. and Canada have a strong and growing economic relationship, and we are natural partners in promoting the benefits of free trade. The E.U. - Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA, the bulk of which, as the Prime Minister said, comes into effect this week has significant potential to boost trans-Atlantic prosperity and the U.K. economy, eliminating 98% of Canadian import duties and massively increasing the opportunities for British exporters. And I am pleased that we have agreed today that CETA should be swiftly transitioned to form a new bilateral arrangement between the U.K. and Canada after Brexit.
As staunch champions of the power of free trade to grow our economies, Canada and the U.K. will also work together at the World Trade Organization to promote and spread the benefits of free trade. The rules-based international system established after the Second World War is under threat as never before, and we must make sure it can adapt and change to cope with new and emerging powers and the economic realities of globalization in order to deliver growth and opportunities for all.
As we work to support the global economic rules-based order, so too do we stand firmly together in upholding the international norms that govern our security. And I am pleased to announce that we will deepen our defence and security cooperation in Eastern Europe as we stand up to Russian aggression there.
We’ve agreed on concrete steps to improve our defence cooperation and our interoperability through new joint training for the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the beginning of next year. This will be the first joint training the U.K. has done with any other country inside Ukraine and will involve joint reconnaissance training, joint counter-sniper training, and joint military police training. And we will conduct a joint U.K. - Canada military exercise in Latvia next month under the umbrella of NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Eastern Europe.
To ensure NATO can respond to an ever-changing world, the U.K. and Canada will also be at the forefront of championing NATO reform and supporting its steps to modernize, including on cyber security. And today we have discussed how we will continue to work closely together on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, sharing intelligence and expertise to build community cohesion.
And I want to thank the Canadian people for their support and solidarity in the wake of the terrible Manchester and London attacks, including of course the attack just last week. You stood with us as we stood with you in the wake of the tragic Quebec attack. We will never be divided. The terrorists will not win. Our values will prevail.
When we come together and work as one to project our shared values on the world stage, we form a powerful union. From our cooperation as G7 members, in the Commonwealth, and in dealing with the awful aftermath of Hurricane Irma, providing life saving aid to those in need, to the inspirational Invictus Games, showcasing the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country, the U.K. and Canada stand side by side.
And I am very much looking forward to our visit later today to meet British and Canadian Invictus athletes. The values and principles which make our countries special are needed more than ever in the world today, so Britain and Canada can confidently face the future together.