Kamall: EU-Japan deal stepping stone for UK’s own agreement
London MEP Syed Kamall says ratifying a new EU-Japan trade deal will be the UK’s first step to securing its own ambitious agreement with the Japanese.
The senior Conservative politician, who has played a key role in guiding the deal through the European Parliament, spoke today after legislature’s Trade Committee approved the deal.
The EU-Japan deal is set to cut 99 per cent of tariffs from EU goods exported to Japan, saving companies around €1 billion of duties each year. Both Japan and the UK are committed to continuing the agreement post-Brexit and it is is expected to increase British exports by between £3.2 billion and £5.4 billion.
Dr Kamall, MEP for London since 2005, was lead negotiator on the deal for his political group the European Conservatives and Reformists.
After today’s vote: he said: “The EU-Japan deal is set to drastically cut the tariffs paid by the more than 8,000 British companies that export to Japan, mostly small and medium-sized businesses. However, this deal is a stepping stone for the UK’s own agreement with Japan post-Brexit.
“Theresa May and the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, have already agreed that the EU’s deal should form the basis of our trading relationship after Britain leaves the European Union. It’s something that the UK can look to improve on by joining the larger Trans-Pacific Partnership which brings together 11 countries in the world’s third largest free trade area.
“Japan is already the UK’s sixth largest trading partner supporting more than 90,000 jobs in the UK and Japanese investment employing 100,000 more. After Brexit, I believe that replicating this trade deal and tailoring it to suit both sides we can strengthen our trading relationship, boosting jobs, investment and our economy.
“I hope the EU can avoid the problems it faced with the Canada trade agreement when it was ratified. It’s in both the UK and the EU’s interests that this deal comes into force as soon as possible, so Britain can easily roll it over, and so European companies can begin to benefit from the reduction in tariffs.”
Contact John Furbisher