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Signing of the UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement

Statement made on 23 October 2020

Statement UIN HCWS536


Today Japan’s Foreign Minister?Motegi?Toshimitsu and I are signing the UK-Japan Partnership Agreement in Tokyo. This is the first trade deal that the UK has struck as an independent trading nation.

This British shaped deal goes beyond the existing EU agreement with major wins for all parts of the UK in areas such as digital and data, financial services, food and drink and creative industries. This deal could boost trade between the UK and Japan by £15.7 billion and drive economic growth in the long run.

The agreement also includes a strong commitment from Japan to support the UK joining the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) meaning closer ties with 11 Pacific countries in one of the world’s biggest free trade areas, covering 13% of the global economy in 2018 and more than £110bn of trade in 2019.

The Government is committed to transparency and the effective scrutiny of our trade negotiations. Following my Written Ministerial Statement of 12 October, I can announce that at the earliest possible opportunity today the Department for International Trade and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office will be formally presenting the signed treaty text and related documents electronically to Parliament. They will subsequently be published on GOV.UK.

The documents being laid in Parliament today are the UK-Japan Partnership Agreement treaty text, Explanatory Memorandum and Parliamentary Report, which provides an explanation of the Partnership Agreement, including any significant differences or enhancements from the EU-Japan Agreement. An independently verified impact assessment of the UK-Japan Partnership Agreement, will also be deposited in the House Library.

While the Government is formally laying the treaty text electronically in Parliament today, the Constitutional Reform and Governance (CRaG) Act scrutiny procedure will not commence until 2 November, when the House of Commons returns from recess. Laying today ahead of the commencement of CRaG ensures that the House has the maximum amount of time to scrutinise the detail of the UK-Japan Partnership Agreement.

Linked statements

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Department for International Trade
Signing of the UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement
Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister for Investment
Conservative, Life peer
Statement made 23 October 2020