Japan and Great Britain formally signed a free trade agreement in Tokyo on Friday (October 23). This is the first major trade deal the British have signed after Brexit. At the same time, talks between London and the European Union on a similar agreement are still underway.

The conclusion of the contract was of an official nature. The document was signed in Tokyo by the British Minister for International Trade Liz Gears The Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

The UK-Japan agreement is expected to enter into force on January 1, 2021 to ensure continuity of bilateral trade and investment, when the transition period that followed the UK’s exit ends at the end of this year.

“How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome the dawn of a new era of free trade,” she told reporters. Liz Gears.

Toshimitsu Motegi He stressed that the agreement was not signed until four and a half months after the start of negotiations. This is evidence of Japan and Britain’s determination to continue to vigorously promote free trade.”

Great Britain: A successful deal with Japan?

The deal is expected to increase bilateral trade by £15.2 billion (US$19.9 billion) in the long term compared to 2018. Motegi said he was pleased that the UK was interested in joining the Comprehensive and Advance Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

But critics say implementing the deal would increase Britain’s GDP by 0.07%, a fraction of trade that could be lost with the EU.

What about the deal with the European Union?

British business people can enjoy the deal with Japan in moderation. However, the issue of a similar agreement with the European Union remains unresolved.

Talks between London and Brussels resumed in London on Thursday. Prime Minister’s Office Boris Johnson She said in a statement that the UK was ready for further negotiations.

“Every day counts,” the EU’s chief negotiator told reporters. Michelle BarnierDirect negotiations with its British counterpart will resume in London on October 22 David frost.

Barnier – As reported by Benjamin Fox of EURACTIV.com He will stay in London for three consecutive days. The French were due to return to Brussels on Sunday (October 25), so his long stay in London offers hope of overcoming the stalemate in negotiations.

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Deal with the United States is a challenge?

And negotiating a trade agreement with the United States remains a major challenge for London. Prime Minister Johnson has repeatedly emphasized that it is UK membership in the European Union that prevents a good deal with Washington. But the United States turned out to be a strong partner in the talks with London, and there is still a long way to go before this agreement.

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The row in EU-UK talks before December 31, 2020, when the post-Brexit transition period ends, means that from the new year, UK-EU trade will follow the general rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), i.e. duties and quantitative quotas And other obstacles can be applied.