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September 14, 2020

UK secures first free trade agreement with Japan post Brexit

The United Kingdom's (UK) Department for International Trade has reported that the UK has secured a free trade agreement with Japan; this is the UK's first major trade deal as an independent trading nation following the UK's departure from the European Union (EU). The agreement will reportedly increase UK trade with Japan by an estimated £15.2 billion.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed in principle by UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu on a video call on 11 September 2020.

UK businesses will benefit from tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to Japan. Government analysis indicates 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 longer term.

UK manufacturers, food and drink producers and the technology sector are all set to benefit from the measures in the UK-Japan deal, which include:

  • Cutting-edge digital & data provisions that surpass the EU-Japan deal
  • Improved market access for UK financial services
  • Tariff-free access for more UK goods
  • New protections for more iconic UK goods
  • New protections for UK creative industries
  • Improved mobility for business people
  • Support for UK car and rail manufacturing
  • More generous market access for malt producers
  • Strong tariff reductions for UK pork and beef exports

The Department for International Trade Press release is available on the UK Government website.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Trade Strategy and Brexit Lead, London

  • Sally Jones


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