United Kingdom signs post-Brexit trade deal with Japan

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 24, 2020

Britain and Japan have formally signed a trade agreement, marking the UK's first big post-Brexit deal.

Speaking to Japan's Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, Truss said that the United Kingdom presidency of the G7 and the Japanese presidency of the TPP-11 would have a better chance next year of challenging rising protectionism and advocating free trade.

After threats from Britain that it would undercut the 2020 divorce treaty, and Johnson briefly broke off trade talks on Friday, the European Union said it was ready to talk about draft legal texts of a deal.

"The British acceptance of the new baseline unlocked discussions on the issue and pointed the direction of travel for the later talks", an European Union diplomat said.

The new rules confirm that it will be mandatory for all Heavy Goods Vehicles using the Short Strait channel crossings to obtain a digital Kent Access Permit, and reduce the risk of disruption as hauliers travel through Kent to reach the Short Straits - one of Britain's busiest trade routes.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will meet with his British counterpart David Frost in London today.

The main stumbling blocks remain fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the "level playing field" aimed at preventing unfair competition, which includes state subsidies.

He told reporters: "I think we have a huge common responsibility".

The UK has today (Oct 23) signed its first global trade deal as an independent nation with Japan.

Appearing with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss called the agreement a "landmark" as the first major trade deal for Britain as an independent trading nation.

Ms Truss hailed the new trade agreement with Japan, which will remove the UK's tariffs on Japanese cars in stages to zero by 2026.

Britain has said the deal meant 99 percent of its exports to Japan would be tariff-free, and that it could increase trade by £15.2 billion pounds in the long run, compared with 2018.

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.

After launching the negotiations in June, Motegi and Truss reached a substantial agreement on most areas in August following talks in London and clinched an agreement in principle in September via videoconference.

Labour has previously said the net benefit of the deal would amount to just 0.07% of GDP.

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