The UK and South Korea have agreed to sign a free trade deal ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Talks between international trade secretary Liam Fox and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee concluded in Seoul last night.
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The in-principle agreement, which will be officially signed following formal checks, will ensure businesses can continue to trade with South Korea on preferential terms.
It marks the first post-Brexit trade deal that the UK has managed to secure in Asia.
“This means that whatever happens with Brexit, there will be total continuity in trade between our two countries and the basis for an ambitious future free-trade agreement when we leave the EU,” Fox tweeted.
The deal includes keeping zero-tarrifs on South Korean exports such as cars. South Korean exports to the UK amounted to about £5.03bn last year.
South Korea will seek approval from its parliament and ratify the pact before 31 October, which is the date Britain is set to leave the EU with or without a deal.
The country will also prepare responses to other possible scenarios including a “no-deal” Brexit, South Korea’s trade ministry said.