Liz Truss, international trade secretary, signed the deal this morning with Japan's foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu.
Chloe Shakesby

UK signs first post-Brexit trade deal in "landmark" agreement with Japan

The government has announced this morning that it has signed its first post-Brexit trade deal.

The UK and Japan have agreed on an economic partnership agreement which will see 99 per cent of exports become tariff-free.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation, is expected to increase trade between the countries by £15.2bn.

Japan’s foreign minister Motegi Toshimitsu signed the deal along with UK international trade secretary Liz Truss, and confirmed that the deal will come into play on 1 January 2021.

The agreement also includes a commitment from Japan to support the UK joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the world’s largest free trade areas, strengthening trade ties between the UK and eleven Pacific countries.

Liz Truss, international trade secretary, commented: “Today is a landmark moment for Britain.

“It shows what we can do as an independent trading nation, as we secure modern and bespoke provisions in areas like tech and services that are critical to the future of our country and the reshaping of our economy.

“Trade is a powerful way to deliver the things people really care about. 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.

“The agreement also has a much wider strategic significance. It opens a clear pathway to membership of the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership – which will open new opportunities for British business and boost our economic security – and strengthens ties with a like-minded democracy, key ally and major investor in Britain.”

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