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The resounding defeat of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan puts Canada in a tight race against the clock to solidify bilateral trade ties with its longtime ally ahead of the March 29 separation deadline.

“Time is short. Even if they agree on everything and they’ve got a full-scale agreement on goods and services, CETA is a 500-page plus document. It’s a very complicated text,” Armand de Mestral told Yahoo Finance Canada. “If there is no withdrawal agreement, and the U.K. is going to crash out, that makes it much harder for the Canadian side to put things in place.”

His hope is...

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