Following Brexit, the UK will now look to sign free trade agreements with countries across the world as an independent nation. In what will be a major victory for the Prime Minister, the UK is set to complete one of the fastest deals in history with Japan. For the first time in more than 40 years the UK is set to finalise a comprehensive agreement with the state by the end of July after commencing negotiations just six weeks ago.
But with the current coronavirus pandemic ravaging economies across the world Express.co.uk is asking, “What country would you like Boris Johnson to prioritise a trade deal with?”
Although Japan’s chief negotiator, Hiroshi Matsuura claimed both sides would need to limit their ambitions, he insisted a deal must be completed by next month in order to pass through the Japanese parliament.
Despite the agreement being based on the EU-Japan free trade deal, the UK is hoping to secure additional benefits such as the reduction or elimination of Japanese tariffs on goods.
Mr Matsuura told the Financial Times: “To avoid a gap in January, we must pass this in the autumn session of the Diet – Japanese parliament.
“That means we must complete negotiations by the end of July.
“The shortage of time means that both sides will have to limit their ambitions.”
This month the UK also embarked on the second round of negotiations with the US.
In a blow to Mr Johnson’s hopes, the US trade representative, Robert Lightizer claimed a deal will not be a “roll over”.
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“I don’t want anyone to think this is going to be a rollover.
“The United States has the best agriculture in the world. It has the safest, highest standards and I think we shouldn’t confuse science with consumer preference.”
He also claimed the criticism for chlorinated chicken was not legitimate due to the US’ high standards in the sector.
The UK has also vowed to protect the NHS and to maintain consumer and environmental standards.
Any deal with the US may also be influenced by what the EU agrees with the UK as part of its trade agreement.
The two sides have yet to compromise over several key areas such as access to the single market for UK financial services, fisheries and fair competition for businesses.
After a virtual summit with EU leaders, Mr Johnson did state his hope a deal could be struck by next month.
He did admit that in order to achieve this target, talks would need to be sped up.
The EU has agreed to quicker, more fluid talks but has remained adamant it will not move on key issues such as the level playing field.
Brussels has even set the end of October as a deadline to reach any agreement with the UK after both sides agreed not to extend the transition period.
Crucially, however, any deal agreed with the UK must be ratified by all 27 EU member states.