The UK is expecting to have a free trade deal with Japan wrapped up by next week, after just under three months of negotiations.
A Downing Street official today told journalists that the government expects to complete the deal before September, meaning by next Monday at the latest.
The completion of a deal would be seen as a boon to international trade secretary Liz Truss as the UK seeks to wrap up trade deals before exiting the post-Brexit transition period on 31 December.
The framework of the deal is based off the EU-Japan deal struck last year, but with a further reduction or elimination of Japanese tariffs on British goods and vice versa.
It is expected that tariffs will be dropped on products such as Japanese cars and British cheese.
There is also expected to be increased access to Japanese markets for British companies.
The apparent breakthrough in negotiations comes despite talks stalling two weeks ago over the UK’s demands over agricultural goods, particularly Stilton cheese.
Truss and her negotiators were pushing for decreased tariffs on British agricultural exports to Japan.
“We have reached a consensus in many elements of the deal, incuding digital data and financial services that goes beyond the EU-Japan trade deal,” the Downing Street official said.
“We still wish to reach a formal agreement by the end of this month. Many major elements of the deal have been agreed.”
City A.M. revealed in May that a UK-Japan free trade deal could provide a £383m boost to London’s economy every year.
This would likely come through increased access to the City of London and the UK’s digital services industry for Japanese companies.