28 September 2020
The UK and Japan have reached agreement in principle on the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UKJCEPA). The UKJCEPA is expected to be largely based on the existing Japan-EU EPA (JEEPA) but there will be some notable differences.
The agreement (reached on 11 September 2020) has been hailed as "historic" by the UK government and represents the UK's first major post-Brexit trade deal. In Japan, the UKJCEPA has been welcomed as ensuring post-Brexit trade continuity with the UK. Japan and the UK have each enjoyed improved access to each other's markets since the JEEPA came into force in February 2019, but once the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020 so too do the benefits enjoyed by both parties under the JEEPA.
While we must wait for the full text of the UKJCEPA (expected in October) to understand exactly what has been agreed, announcements by both governments offer some strong indications on what to expect.