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The UK strikes post-Brexit trade agreement with Japan
The UK announced a $19.5 billion deal with Japan replicating the current EU-Japan deal and representing its first major post-Brexit trade agreement.
Dubbed the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, it was agreed in principle by Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss during a video call on Friday.
The new bilateral agreement with Japan is seen as a sign that the UK can strike agreements elsewhere.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal showed that the UK had taken back control of its trade policy and would thrive as a trading nation outside the EU.
Truss noted that the agreement was negotiated in record time and in challenging circumstances and goes far beyond the existing EU deal.
Motegi said that Japan maintained its level of access to the UK market under the Japan-EU EPA while bolstering its access to the UK auto parts and train cars sector.
It would take effect on January 1, following domestic ratification.
Under the deal, around 99 percent of exports between the two nations will be tariff-free.
Japan will benefit from reduced tariffs with its manufacturing parts, while the UK would benefit from its pork, beef, and salmon exports.
The deal covers provisions on brand protection for iconic British goods, such as Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, Welsh lamb, and English sparkling wine.
It also includes measures on online infringement of intellectual property rights.
The UK and the EU are thrashing out the terms of their new relationship from January 1 next year.
But the wrangling has become increasingly bitter with the EU threatening legal action after the UK vowed to implement a new law that would break its treaty.