UK-Japan Trade Agreement Eases Years of Tension Caused by Brexit

Anxieties over Japanese firms leaving the UK as a result of Brexit seemed to have died down, after the UK-Japan trade agreement took effect in January 2021. The British government in fact considered historic the trade agreement entered with Japan, since it was the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent country.

Actually, the signing of the agreement came at a time when tension among Japanese businesses was already high due to the uncertainties posed by Brexit. In 2016 when the British government announced withdrawal from the European Union, the government of Japan had expressed public concerns; warning that Japanese investors and companies will rethink their position in Great Britain if the exit from EU membership will turnout to be disorderly.

It took several years before the UK government was able to finalize deals with the EU Commission, since the Brexit announcement. As a result, not a few Japanese firms left the UK, which brought down the numbers from a previous 1,084 to 951 during the tumultuous and seemingly unending rounds of Brexit deal negotiations.

Until finally last September 11, 2020, the UK-Japan trade deal was announced and that it was set to take effect at the very beginning of year 2021. The actual agreement was formally signed in October 2020.

A Brief View of the UK-Japan Trade Agreement

Japan is currently the UK’s 13th major export market for important British goods, as Japan had accounted for 1.9% of all UK exported products sold overseas last year. The US-Japan trade deal is said to be built around the UK economy, to help create the much needed jobs that will drive economic growth throughout the country. Overall and in the long run, the deal is expected to boost the British economy by an estimated £15 billion.

The deal will provide strong tariff reductions for both countries, with the UK reducing tariffs on pork, beef, and other food and drink exports, Japan, on the other hand, will reduce on Hitachi and Nissan exports