UK and Japan want outline trade deal this month - Japanese foreign minister

  • World
  • Friday, 07 Aug 2020

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi speaks during a press briefing in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and Japan have reached substantial agreement in most areas for a bilateral post-Brexit trade deal and will speed up their talks, Japan's foreign minister said on Friday.

"We agreed to accelerate talks with an aim of reaching an outline agreement by the end of August," Toshimitsu Motegi, who is in London for talks, told reporters in an online briefing.

Earlier on Friday, a Financial Times reporter said London was holding out for better agricultural access in the deal.

"UK-Japan trade talks close to agreement but @trussliz said by Brits to be holding out on agricultural access. Pork markets?" FT reporter George Parker said, referring to British trade minister Liz Truss.

Japan is a major investor in British industry, particularly consumer electronics and car manufacturing. The total value of bilateral trade in 2019 was 31.6 billion pounds according to British data.

Britain, which formally left the European Union in January but has a no-change transition arrangement until Dec. 31, is seeking a deal that builds on the 2019 EU-Japan agreement.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly in Tokyo; Writing by William Schomberg; Ediitng by Gareth Jones)

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