Japan and Britain are due to sign a bilateral free trade agreement on Friday, the UK`s first major trade deal as an independent trading country. According to the UK Department of Trade, the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is expected to increase trade between the two countries by about $16.8 billion ($19.9 billion). The new agreement will enter into force when the UK formally leaves the European Union (EU) in early 2021 and will lead trade relations between the two countries after Brexit. Kenya has been added to the list of countries where trade agreements have been signed and the East African Community (EAC) has been removed from the list of countries where trade agreements are still under discussion. The South Korean list has been updated, with the UK signing a trade agreement with South Korea. During the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, there were concerns about the lack of agreement on the terms of withdrawal and the fact that the UK would hastily leave the EU without any deal (the initial scenario of Brexit without a deal). With this result a possibility, the United Kingdom secured a pure trade agreement with Norway and Iceland, which would only be valid after an exit without an EU agreement. Since the UK agreed on conditions in November 2019 and ratified the Brexit withdrawal agreement and left the EU at the end of January 2020, the deal has become obsolete and will therefore not enter into force. Given that the agreement still needs to be negotiated and that the UK government is keeping its objectives secret, we do not know exactly what its provisions will be. However, the United States has made it clearer what it will do in a trade agreement between Britain and the United States.
Some of these provisions would have profound negative effects on health, well-being and the environment. British civil society organisations, coordinated by the Trade Justice Movement, have therefore developed a series of red lines for the agreement that are available here. Any trade agreement will aim to remove tariffs and remove other trade barriers that come into force. It will also cover both goods and services. The effects of Brexit on the citizens of the UK will be felt in different ways, one of the main considerations being the economics.