Speech: PM press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: 18 September


War Hero
Merci, Justin, de m’avoir accueillie à Ottawa aujourd’hui.

Thank you, Justin, for welcoming me here to Ottawa today.

Canada and the United Kingdom 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 have developed the institutions of Westminster-style democracy, personal rights, and the 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 recognising 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.

Domestic policy coordination

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 have 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 UK 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 have confirmed our joint commitment to supporting the global transition away from a reliance on coal as an energy source. Once again, the UK and Canada will lead the way, and I am pleased to announce that the UK will aim to phase out unabated coal by 2025.

Trade and investment

The UK and Canada have a strong and growing economic relationship, and we are natural partners in promoting the benefits of free trade.

The EU-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 transatlantic prosperity and the UK 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 UK and Canada after Brexit.

As staunch champions of the power of free trade to grow our economies, Canada and the UK will also work together at the World Trade Organisation 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.

We must make sure it can adapt and change to cope with new and emerging powers and the economic realities of globalisation in order to deliver growth and opportunities for all.

Defence and security cooperation

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’m pleased to announce that we will deepen our defence and security cooperation in eastern Europe as we stand up to Russian aggression there.

We have agreed 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 UK 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 UK-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 UK and Canada will also be at the forefront of championing NATO reform and supporting its steps to modernise, 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.

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 UK 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.

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