United Kingdom agrees trade deal with Japan as row with European Union intensifies

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on day three of the G7 Summit in Biarritz France

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said it was an "historic moment" for the two countries.

The legislation would override part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.

Shadow worldwide trade secretary Emily Thornberry said: "Trade with Japan represented 2.21% of our global total last year, and under the best case scenario put forward by the Government, today's agreement will see that total increase by just 0.07 percentage points each year, simply maintaining the levels of growth seen since 2015, and preserving the forecast benefits of the current EU-Japan agreement".

Britain and Japan came close to securing the deal last month, but failed to wrap up negotiations, with British media reporting that some aspects of the agriculture sector were still up for debate.

Listing some of the agreements, the Department for International Trade said manufacturers, food and drink producers, and the tech sector would particularly find benefit.

And economists caution that deals like that with Japan could never compensate for any failure to reach agreement with the EU.

Former Labour prime minister, Gordon Brown, urged the government to provide more support for those likely to be unemployed after the end of the Job Retention Scheme in October and to avoid a "huge act of self-harm" in its discussions with the EU.

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Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA director general, said the stakes were high, adding: "We absolutely must have an ambitious EU-UK trade agreement in place by January".

Trade between Britain and Japan was valued at more than £39 billion a year ago, and Japan is Britain's 11th-largest export market.

On Friday, they agreed on trade arrangements for British cheese and some of its other agricultural exports under which they will have the same preferential treatment when the annual low-tariff import quotas for rival European Union products are unfilled, according to the Foreign Ministry. "Japanese visitors love visiting the Lake District and there is a strong demand in Japan for fine British produce".

The UK was keen to demonstrate that it can score added benefits from going it alone, while Tokyo was minded to show that it was not going to grant a more favourable deal to a single country than to a large trading bloc such as the EU.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Ms Truss and the negotiators, and tweeted: "We have taken back control of our trade policy & will continue to thrive as a trading nation outside the European Union".

Ms Truss said the "historic" agreement went "far beyond" the current EU-Japan deal.

Truss said the deal, which will take effect in January, is also an "important step" as Britain seeks membership of a trans-Pacific free trade agreement covering 11 countries, including Japan, Australia and Mexico, accounting for about 13 percent of the global economy.

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