Generally speaking, I agree with Claire's remarks with regard to having an ambitious agreement. I think we need to have something there. In my opening remarks, I said that I thought there was going to be a hard Brexit. In fact, if I'm being blunt, I think that the U.K. political leadership believes that the economic fallout can, to a degree, be pinned on COVID. I think they see a bit of an out here. I mean, if you look at the way the negotiations are going between the U.K. and the EU, it's not very good. The best that they're going to be able to achieve by the end of the year, if they do get an agreement, is a very skinny, tariff-only agreement.
Starting with that point, we had a rollover agreement, a CETA-like agreement, that was in place and basically ready to go and replace and cover the U.K.-Canada relationship; however, the British government came along and surprised everyone by saying they were going to remove import tariffs. That was a big piece of the agreement that they were giving away for free. I think the negotiators in the department in Canada are a bit unsure about exactly what the U.K. may put on the table next. I just don't know that we're going to be able to have an agreement in place prior to knowing the resolution between the U.K. and the EU.
For example, how would you treat rules of origin if they're outside of the EU Customs Union? For instance, typically you need at least 50% to 60% of content in your goods to qualify for duty-free status. A U.K. that is outside of the European single market, will they be able to meet those provisions? We won't know if we even need to negotiate rules of origin until we know what they have agreed upon, so I think realistically we probably will not have an agreement in place until 2021.
I think we can take quite a high level of ambition into these negotiations. Where I would like to see better progress.... We still do not have conformity assessment in place two years on in the CETA. Basically what that means is, if a product is certified in Canada and exported over to, say, Germany, it doesn't have to be retested and recertified again. It's seen as being equivalent. We agreed to this in CETA, but the problem is that it still has not been implemented.
We also see continuing problems with technical barriers to trade. Claire has raised this on the agricultural front. I think we need a more robust process for preventing technical barriers to trade. There's also been some confusion around the regulatory co-operation provisions. The regulatory co-operation committee within CETA is for going after future regulatory barriers; however, I think most people, certainly in the private sector, believe it's a forum for dealing with existing regulatory barriers. I think there needs to be more clarity around this in a future agreement.
I think that—