The UK and Japan have signed a free trade agreement at a ceremony in Tokyo, hours earlier than negotiations on a post-Brexit cope with the European Union are on account of resume.
The authorities claims the agreement will enhance trade with Japan by £15.2bn over the subsequent 15 years – and UK companies will take pleasure in tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to the nation.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss had struck the cope with Japan’s overseas minister Toshimitsu Motegi on a video name on 11 September.
After the ceremony, Ms Truss stated: “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.” She added it will “pave the way” in the direction of UK membership of the broader Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ms Truss had earlier hailed the significance of the agreement.
“At its heart, this deal is about creating opportunity and prosperity for all parts of our United Kingdom and driving the economic growth we need to overcome the challenges of coronavirus,” she stated.
The authorities stated the deal would help UK automobile and rail manufacturing jobs, decrease tariffs on merchandise like pork, beef and salmon, and British customers would get entry to cheaper, high-quality Japanese items.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director basic, stated: “The signing of the UK’s first independent trade agreement is a milestone for our economy and will be welcomed by businesses in many sectors.
“This deal has the potential to help jobs throughout the nation by means of lifting British farming exports and supporting our manufacturing and companies sectors. Consumers will even profit by means of larger selection.”
Government analysis found that a deal with Japan would boost the UK’s GDP by around 0.07% over 15 years and increase UK workers’ wages by £800m in the long run.
It is due to publish a full report on the agreement, including any significant differences or enhancements.
Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union are set to resume after stalling last week when Downing Street insisted there was no point in resuming discussions unless there was a change in stance from the EU.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has welcomed the reopening of talks and told reporters in London that he wanted to make “each day depend”.
Allie Renison, senior policy advisor at the Institute of Directors, said: “This standalone trade deal [with Japan] might be the cherry on prime if the UK manages to land an EU deal as we exit the transition interval.”