UK and Japan close in on post-Brexit trade deal

Britain and Japan on Friday reached “substantial agreement” on most elements of a post-Brexit trade deal, after two days of talks during which UK trade secretary Liz Truss resisted moves to restrict British farm exports.

The proposed deal, which both sides want to wrap up by the end of the month, largely mirrors the EU-Japan trade agreement of 2019.

Unless London and Tokyo finalise a successor regime, trade will be seriously disrupted when the UK’s Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

Ms Truss insisted the planned UK-Japan deal would open up extra trade in financial services, digital and ecommerce through improved regulatory co-operation. She said that in these areas the deal would go “significantly beyond the EU-Japan agreement”.

However the UK government forecasts the deal would only boost Britain’s gross domestic product by 0.07 per cent in the long-term, with a £15bn increase in trade. By contrast, the government forecasts a 5 per cent loss of GDP growth when Britain leaves the EU single market and customs union.

The UK trade department has also estimated the deal with Tokyo could lead to a 21 per cent rise in British exports of goods and…

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