This month saw a trade agreement reached between the United Kingdom and Japan, as we move ever closer to the end of the Brexit implementation period and the beginning of our place in the wider world.
This deal will secure additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade agreement, and will give British companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage in a number of areas. As well as driving economic growth, the agreement will help create jobs throughout the UK.
It will also lead the way for UK accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); an issue I raised earlier this year in Parliament. I strongly welcome the Government’s action in this area and its efforts in securing trade deals with other nations in the region, and called on the International Trade Secretary to ensure Britain engages with emerging markets such as south east Asia.
Britain has secured a commitment from the Japanese government to support UK membership of the TPP. This will open up 11 key pacific markets for exporters and would reduce tariffs for UK business, with 95 per cent of goods traded between members being free of tariffs.
Businesses in the south east of England exported goods worth £1.3 billion to Japan in 2019. Benefits from the UK-Japan deal will include better jobs, higher wages, more choice and lower prices for all parts of the UK.
The new agreement will secure new protections for our creative industries, through going beyond the EU on provisions tackling online infringement of intellectual property rights.
Further mobility and flexibility for business people will include it being easier for British and Japanese companies to move staff into each country. This goes further than the EU-Japan deal, and covers a range of UK skilled workers to enter Japan.
The deal will see enhanced market access for British financial services, creating an annual dialogue between UK and Japanese authorities to explore ways to further reduce regulatory friction, which would be impossible while members of the EU. Indeed, financial services are Britain’s biggest export to Japan, totalling 30 per cent of all UK exports.
We have seen the last few years in the House of Commons dominated by the sight of democratically-elected MPs seeking to overturn a referendum of the British people which took place in June 2016. With Brexit legally enacted in January of this year, the transition/implementation period will end at the conclusion of 2020.
I am acutely aware that the people of Crawley elected me last December on a manifesto commitment to “not extend the implementation period beyond December 2020.” In fulfilling this the Government has my complete support.
Henry Smith MP