Japan and Britain sign post-Brexit trade deal

British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (left) and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi exchange agreement documents for economic partnership between Japan and Britain at Iikura Annex of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, on Friday (Oct 23, 2020). Japan and Britain signed a bilateral free trade deal Friday in the the first such major post-Brexit deal, reducing tariffs on Yorkshire lamb sold in Japan, as well as auto parts for Japan’s Nissan plant. - AP

TOKYO, Oct 23 (dpa): Japan and Britain signed a free trade agreement on Friday that is to come into force at the end of the current post-Brexit transition period.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Britain's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss signed the agreement in Tokyo.

It paves the way for the agreement to begin on January 1, after Britain ceases to be bound by EU trade rules.

The deal is still subject to scrutiny by the parliaments of both countries.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was agreed in principle last month and hailed by Britain as its first major trade deal since it formally left the European Union.

The agreement is expected to boost British trade with Japan by an estimated 15.2 billion pounds (US$19.5 billion), the British government said last month.

The agreement largely corresponds to the existing free trade agreement between Japan and the EU.

Britain formally left the EU on January 31 and entered a transition period until the end of the year, during which it still belongs to the EU single market and customs union.

While Japanese companies welcome the agreement, they are also concerned over whether London will really be able to reach an agreement with the EU for the period after the end of the transition period. - dpa
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