The UK government has announced it has secured a trade deal with Japan, in a breakthrough welcomed by British business leaders.
The UK-Japan comprehensive economic partnership agreement was agreed in principle on a video call between Britain’s international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu.
The government said in a press release it marked a step towards the UK joining a wider trade bloc in the Asia-Pacific region. The deal agreed with Japan will see tariff-free trade on 99% of UK exports to the country, with officials predicting a £1.5bn ($1.9bn) boost to the UK economy “in the long run.”
UK manufacturers, financial services firms, food and drink firms and tech companies are among those set to benefit, according to the government.
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“This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal,” said Truss.
“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.”
“Strategically, the deal is an important step towards joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and placing Britain at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements with like-minded friends and allies.”
Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “The signing of the UK-Japan trade deal is a breakthrough moment. It will be welcomed by businesses across the country. The Japan deal can be the first of many.”