September 14, 2020

UK and Japan agree historic free trade agreement

This Conservative Government has secured our first major free trade deal as an independent trading nation with Japan. This deal will boost trade between our two countries by £15.2 billion, creating jobs and delivering new opportunities across every part of the United Kingdom.

This is an historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal, underscoring the opportunities that exist for our country as we strike out in the world and delivering on our manifesto commitment.

The agreement we have negotiated – in record time and in challenging circumstances – goes far beyond the existing EU deal, as it secures new wins for British businesses in our great manufacturing, food and drink, and tech industries.

From our automotive workers in Wales to our shoemakers in the North of England, this deal will help build back better as we create new opportunities for people throughout the whole of the UK and help level up our country.

Our new free trade deal with Japan delivers for British business

Our historic trade deal will boost trade by £15.2 billion between the UK and Japan, helping to create jobs and drive economic growth throughout the whole of the UK. Our new trade deal is tailored to the UK economy and secures additional benefits beyond the current–EU Japan trade deal, giving UK companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage in a number of areas.

And we are delivering new opportunities for every part of our economy, helping us to bounce back as we recover from coronavirus. UK businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to Japan.

Our analysis also shows that a deal with Japan will deliver a £1.5 billion boost to the UK economy, and increase UK workers’ wages by £800 million in the long run. This will be a great deal for the United Kingdom and for businesses across the country.

And this deal is an important step towards our accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, expanding global opportunities for UK businesses. We have secured a strong commitment from Japan to support our accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This will give UK businesses a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region and help to increase the resilience and diversity of our supply chains.

Overall, this trade deal will be fantastic for Britain, supporting businesses and helping to create new jobs.

We will continue to promote free trade for Britain

Our free trade deal has been agreed in principle. But we are still working hard to continue to get deals done and unleash Britain’s potential.

Last week, we have just concluded the eighth round of negotiations on our future relationship with the EU. Our Chief Negotiator, Lord Frost said: “We have consistently made proposals which provide for open and fair competition, on the basis of high standards, in a way which is appropriate to a modern free trade agreement between sovereign and autonomous equals.”

And last week we published the UK Internal Market Bill, designed to protect the integrity of the United Kingdom, ensure we can always preserve peace in Northern Ireland, and allow for seamless free trade throughout the United Kingdom. It will ensure businesses can continue to trade across our country as they do now, avoiding new burdens and barriers in order to protect jobs and support our recovery from coronavirus.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)