I am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). I have separately written to the Scrutiny Committees in both Houses of Parliament such that they can consider this evidence as part of their important scrutiny of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The European Union and Japan concluded negotiations on this Agreement in December 2017, and have announced their intention to sign this Agreement at an EU-Japan Summit in July, subject to approval by EU Member States in the Council of the European Union.
This Agreement will promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Japan by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and investing.
The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade agenda including the free trade agreements it is putting in place and to date has strongly supported the EU-Japan EPA negotiations.
The Prime Minister and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in August 2017 to ‘work quickly to establish a new economic partnership between Japan and the UK based on the final terms of the EPA’ as the UK leaves the EU. The UK-Japan Trade and Investment Working Group, established last year by the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation, is tasked to deliver on this commitment and met for the second time in May.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: