UK to start trade talks with Japan

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Discussions between the UK and Japan on a new trade deal post-Brexit are to begin soon, it has been revealed.

The UK is to start its negotiations on a new trade deal with Japan soon, having now published its objectives for the pact post-Brexit.

Britain's government said it hopes to see an agreement reached that is based on the current EU-Japan free trade agreement in order to secure advantages for UK businesses.

As laid out in the newly-revealed document, it is expected that manufacturers of textiles and clothing, professional services and financial firms will be among those to benefit most from a reduction in trade barriers between the two nations.

With UK exporters reaping the rewards of zero or lower tariffs, around 8,000 small to medium-sized enterprises should also find it far easier to send their goods to Japan.

The first round of discussions on the pact is to start soon via video conferencing and the British government said it hopes a fresh deal will help the UK recover from the economic hardship caused by coronavirus.

It also said the free trade agreement would be a logical first step in Britain joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

International trade secretary Liz Truss added: "We're optimistic that an agreement with Japan can give us security at home and opportunities abroad. Both sides are committed to an ambitious timeline to secure a deal that goes even further than the existing agreement."

Earlier this year - before the global pandemic - the Sun newspaper reported that British prime minister Boris Johnson was keen to pursue an agreement with Tokyo ahead even of those it needs to negotiate with the EU and the US.

A source was quoted as saying that succeeding in signing an 'EU-plus-plus' deal better than the one between Europe and Japan would show the world the UK can still operate effectively post-Brexit.

Mr Johnson reportedly wanted to secure a deal before the end of this year, although that may be less likely now given the economic effects of coronavirus.