Great Britain signs a major trade agreement with Japan after Brexit

Darnell Taylor
October 25, 2020

Businesses in the East of England will benefit from a trade deal agreed by South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, the Department for International Trade claims.

Time is short to reach an agreement before the end of the transition period on 31 December.

Talks had been in limbo after Boris Johnson's deadline for a deal passed last week, but they resumed yesterday as Brussels said both sides needed to compromise on trade issues.

The Japan-U.K. pact, which largely replicates the existing Japan-EU free trade accord, will enter into force after domestic ratification procedures.

The deal, unveiled last month, means almost all its exports to Japan will be tariff free while removing British tariffs on Japanese cars by 2026.

The United Kingdom and Japan today officially signed UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement-the former's first major trade deal as an independent trading nation. Lower tariffs are expected on products like British pork and salmon and Japanese cars and electronics.

British trade with non-EU countries has grown ten times faster than the UK's commerce with the 27 remaining members of the block over the past decade.

"The agreement also has a much wider strategic significance".

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Partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans have barely got off the ground.

Asked if there would be a deal, Britain's junior finance minister Stephen Barclay said he hoped there would be but fishing was a key sticking point.

28% of the Britain's export to Japan is hold by the financial services, this is the biggest contributing sector.

Japanese Foreign Minister, Motegi Toshimitsu, who signed the FTA said he supports the UK's inclusion in the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

President Trump pulled the US out of the trading bloc in 2017 but other members include Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.

The United Kingdom first sought membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1961, but Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain's accession in 1961 and 1967, accusing the British of "deep-seated hostility" to the European project.

The UK said the deal meant 99% of its exports to Japan would be duty-free and that it could increase trade by £ 15.2 billion in the long term compared to 2018.

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