Japan trade deal BOOM – Tokyo wants £15bn agreement struck by END of month

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Foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi said agreement has been reached in most areas after negotiations in London this week. The government has been keen to secure a pact with Tokyo ready for the end of Brexit transition arrangements, which terminate in December. Cabinet minister Liz Truss said discussions had been positive and a formal agreement in principle is expected in the next few weeks.

The International Trade Secretary said the deal will go “significantly beyond” the terms Japan has already struck with the EU.

“Negotiations have been positive and productive, and we have reached consensus on the major elements of a deal – including ambitious provisions in areas like digital, data and financial services that go significantly beyond the EU-Japan deal,” she said.

“Our shared aim is to reach a formal agreement in principle by the end of August.

“The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will forge stronger ties between two democratic island nations with a shared commitment to free and fair trade, and strengthen the global consensus for open markets at a time of heightened protectionism.

“It will deliver more trade and investment that will benefit businesses and consumers across the whole of country and help level-up our United Kingdom.”

The trade agreement Japan struck with Brussels has been used as a blueprint for talks but Britain has pushed for more tariff reductions and better access to Japanese markets for UK companies.

Both sides are keen to have the deal signed off quickly to ensure the new arrangements are in place for January 1 when Britain is no longer bound by EU restrictions on free trade agreements.

Ministers expect the deal to increase trade with Japan by around £15 billion a year in the long run and boost wages across the UK by £800 million.

Mr Motegi said substantial agreement has been reached in most areas.

“We agreed to accelerate talks with an aim of reaching an outline agreement by the end of August,” he added.

Japan is Britain’s 11th largest export market, while the UK is the 12th ranked destination for Japanese goods.

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