Britain inks first big post-Brexit trade pact with Japan
TOKYO (JAPAN) – In what is seen as a first major post-Brexit trade deal, Britain inked an agreement with Japan on Friday. This comes as the country is struggling to agree to a deal with its trading partners in the European bloc.
“How fitting it is to be in the land of the rising sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade,” said British Trade Secretary Liz Truss while speaking to media persons after the signing in Tokyo.
“This is the first new free trade deal to be agreed since the UK once again became an independent trading nation.”
The inking of a deal comes after Truss and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi reached an agreement last month.
Motegi said the signing came in just four and a half months after the negotiations began. “This is a manifestation of the determination of Japan and the United Kingdom to carry on vigorously promoting free trade”.
As per the deal, 99% of British exports to Japan would be free of tariffs and it could increase the volume of trade by 15.2 billion pounds eventually compared with 2018.
The agreement will also do away with Britain’s tariffs on Japanese cars in certain stages until it reaches zero in 2026.
The deal will come into effect on January 1, 2021.
The minister also said Japan hailed Britain’s interest in joining the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement, and intends to provide necessary support.