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UK Seals the Deal with Japan in Post-Brexit Trade Deal

September 11, 2020, 10.07 PM

LONDON, - As discussions with the EU appearing on the brink of collapse, the UK has secured a post-Brexit trade deal with Japan.

The agreement between the UK and Japan was signed on Friday making it Britain’s first major post-Brexit trade deal.

The deal has so far only been agreed upon in principle and details are still not yet clear.

The UK has expressed that the trade deal with the East Asian country will boost commerce by around $19 billion or £15 billion.

Read also: Brexit Emergency Talks as Divorce with EU Turns Ugly

“The agreement we have negotiated — in record time and in challenging circumstances — goes far beyond the existing EU deal, as it secures new wins for British businesses in our great manufacturing, food and drink, and tech industries," said Britain's International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, who pointed to concessions on English sparkling wine and Wensleydale cheese.

The government said UK businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade on 99 percent of exports to Japan and that it will give British businesses a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region.

Overall, it said the deal with Japan, the world's third-largest economy, will deliver a £1.5 billion boost to the UK.

Britain's Conservative government has said that one of the benefits of Brexit is that it allows the country to negotiate trade deals with whoever it wishes — the EU negotiates trade deals on behalf of its members.

Skeptics say the deal with Japan is a little different from the one already in place via the UK's former membership of the EU.

They also say that nothing can mitigate the losses Britain would suffer in the event of a ‘no-deal’ outcome with the EU.

Such a scenario would see tariffs and other impediments imposed on trade between the UK and the EU.

Though both sides would suffer from the new barriers to trade, most economists think Britain would be hit disproportionately.

Read also: No Headway as France Lambastes UK’s “Unrealistic” Approach to Brexit

In 2019, the UK exported some £36.7 billion of goods to Germany, Europe's largest economy, or 10 percent of its total. Exports to Japan were just £7.2 billion, or 1.9 percent of the total.


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