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UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement: Signing

Volume 682: debated on Friday 23 October 2020

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 £110 billion of trade in 2019.

The Government are 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

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 Library of the House.

While the Government are 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.