UK, Japan strike first post-Brexit trade deal

Amid deepening turmoil over Brexit, there was also something for London to celebrate on Friday (September 11).

Japan’s foreign minister says the country has struck a free trade deal with the UK.

It marks the first such post-Brexit agreement.

Toshimitsu Motegi says the deal should come into force in January.

And he says it will go beyond the scope of a trade agreement Japan agreed with the EU.

UK international trade secretary Liz Truss hailed it as an ‘historic moment’.

She says it will mean that 99% of UK exports can enter Japan free of all tariffs.

Digital and data provisions in the agreement go ‘far beyond’ anything in the EU pact, she says.

Ministers hope that will give UK financial technology firms a particular boost.

Meanwhile big Japanese investors in the UK, like Nissan and Hitachi, will benefit from lower tariffs.

Agreement with Japan had widely been seen as one of the easiest deals to do, however.

Talks with the U.S. and countless other countries are progressing more slowly.

And economists caution that deals like that with Japan could never compensate for any failure to reach agreement with the EU.

Trade between the UK and Japan totalled about 38 billion dollars in 2018.

Annual trade between the UK and EU is closer to one trillion dollars.

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