The first major free trade agreement signed by Britain after Brexit has been branded a failure.
Liz Truss signed a deal with Japan in October 2020 that was claimed could boost trade by billions and help the economy recover, reported in The Guardian.
However figures from the Department for International Trade showed that trade to Japan fell from £12.3bn to £11.9bn in the year to June 2022. Meanwhile, exports in goods fell by 4.9 per cent to £6.1bn.
It was claimed that the estimated boost to trade could be £15bn, but in the first year since it came into force, trade between the two countries was £23.7bn against £24.9bn in 2020, a fall of five per cent.
However all was not bad for Japanese-British relations as The Financial Times today reported on the first ever tri-national project between the UK, Italy and Japan on a new fighter jet programme.
While the deal has not yet been formally unveiled, the Tempest programme is said to involve collaboration between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo.
The Financial Times reports that in December a major defence pact is expected to be signed that will make joint exercise and logistics cooperation between the two island nations easier.