Britain's first major post-Brexit trade has been secured following a "historic" agreement with Japan
The country has been working on new trade deals since formally departing from the European Union. The Japanese deal is of particular interest with manufacturers Nissan and Toyota among the carmakers with operations in the UK. They will now benefit on reduced tariffs on imported parts.
The deal means Britain's tariffs on Japanese cars will now be gradually reduced, hitting zero by 2026, much like Japan's agreement with the EU.
"This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal," said British trade minister Liz Truss.
"The agreement we have negotiated – in record time and in challenging circumstances – goes far beyond the existing EU deal, as it secures new wins for British businesses in our great manufacturing, food and drink, and tech industries."
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) welcomed the new on Friday.
"While we await the full terms of the agreement and, in particular, evidence that it will deliver in full on industry’s priorities for the progressive lifting of tariffs and reduction of regulatory barriers," it said in a statement.
"The conclusion of such a [free-trade agreement] represents a significant milestone for our industries."
British business groups wlso elcomed the deal, and hoped that it could pave the way for additional deals with other nations.
"We hope the spirit of both ambition and compromise will help land further continuity deals such as with Turkey and Canada, as well as an agreement with the EU, which is of utmost importance to ... members," said Allie Renison, head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors.
Japan had been able to secure the deal by January 1, but the deal was reached in just three months. According to Automotive News Europe, Japan was looking to use the deal as a gateway into the EU, but there are fears a no-deal Brexit could hamper that. Now 99 percent of exports to Japan will be tariff free, which could increase trade by £15.2 billion. In 2018 that figure sat at £29.5 billion.