Japan trade deal

Just as Leave argued, trade deals the EU currently has with third countries will become trade deals with both the EU and the UK on our departure. Japan is close to signing a deal with the EU and has made clear it would like to sign a mirror one with the UK. No country with an EU trade deal has stated it does not want to carry on with both the UK and the EU on the same terms after our departure. Unfortunately there are no EU trade deals with the big players, the USA, China and Japan at the moment, nor with close partners of the UK like Australia and New Zealand. That is our opportunity.

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  1. Helen
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Great! So brexit means we get … the same deal we gave now

    Reply No, it means we take back control and become a self governing democracy again

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I suppose you could call it “continuity”, Helen, and be relieved that initially everybody will just carry on as before, no “cliff edge”, until such time as different and hopefully better arrangements have been agreed and come into force. But, no, typically, your reaction to that good news is just to whine.

    • zorro
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Er no…. we won’t be paying the EU to achieve it! Try and see the bigger picture…..


  2. Alan
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I believe what Japan actually said was that it was willing to base its trade agreement with the UK on the one it is negotiating with the EU. That leaves room for some differences.

    What Leave said was that we could negotiate better trade deals than the EU could. That claim now seems to have been forgotten. Was it ever a serious claim or was it just a false claim intended to persuade people to vote Leave? Instead the best we can manage is trying to take over what the EU has already negotiated.

    We could have got the best trade agreement just by staying in the EU, avoiding all the damage currently being done to our economy. It’s time to recognise that we have made a serious mistake in leaving the EU.

    Reply We will indeed negotiate better deals than the EU does, but we can also start by simply transferring existing EU deals such as they are before improving them

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Well, Alan, what Remain said was that all existing EU trade deals would automatically fall for the UK once we left the EU. Remember that? Was that ever a serious argument or just another false claim intended to persuade people to vote Remain?

      • Alan
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        But that is the truth – all existing agreements between the EU and other countries cease to apply when we leave the EU. They have to be negotiated again.

        All Japan has said is that it is willing to do this, using the agreement with the EU as a basis to work from. It is unlikely it will start on 30 March 2019.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          It only takes an exchange of letters to confirm that all the parties want the terms of the existing deal to continue for the time being, and that is what I expect to happen in most or all cases.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            See Simon below:

            “Any trade deal may in theory be novated … ”

            You need to agree a unified position!

  3. Prigger
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I was given to understand at the time Juncker slobbered over an “EU coup” in regard to a Japan trade deal that all that had happened was the PM of Japan met with them and agreed it would be a good idea…. for the future. It is unclear whether the EU realises yet Japan is not in Europe and not even as close as Turkey.

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Of course an existing trade deal could be easily adapted (or copied) for the UK. It does not mean that the UK will easily catch up with e.g. Germany which exports 3.6 x as much to China (i.e. 360%) as the UK. Some problems will show to have been homegrown, rather than the result of the “evil empire” (the EU). The usual scapegoat won’t be there in future.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed. And that is the beauty of leaving. Those that are seriously over promoted will be quickly exposed and simply will not be able to hide behind the EU. We will therefore get better governance as a result.

      • hefner
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        “Those that are seriously over” self-” promoted … will not be able to hide behind the EU”: If it could only be true for Wokingham, that might be the best ever outcome of Brexit.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      We know many of the problems are homegrown;the EU is more a fig leaf than a scapegoat.Rip it off and we can tackle them-no more “we can’t do X,Y or Z because Brussels won’t let us” from our elite.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        @Mitchel: When you “rip off” the fig leaf, take care not to hurt what is hiding underneath. 🙂

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          I’m rather hoping that some of what lies underneath does get hurt!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      PvL–Where has it been claimed that we will easily catch up with Germany, which it has been well said is a German racket and sits very comfortably within the EU, such that for many reasons it wants to stay there–Yes those reasons very much do include WWII guilt–I hope Poland gets the huge reparations it deserves

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention repayment of the loans Greece was forced to take out to maintain the German army of occupation.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Sorry–Wording poor–EU is the racket of course cleverly masterminded by Germany for the primary benefit of itself

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: The Polish power monger (Jarosław Kaczyński) is a tad ridiculous: he sees the EU money for Poland as WWII guilt money (you or the Daily Express apparently fall for that). I don’t see how the Dutch have any guilt towards the Polish. Dutch taxpayers only contribute towards making Poland wealthier – no guilt whatsoever – and make it into a better export market for us.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Eh?–Where did I say Polish guilt?–That would be crazy–Was referring of course to German guilt, which is unarguable

    • Epikouros
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Germany had the edge on the UK as the strength of the Euro worked in her favour. Now that the pound is lower that is no longer the case. So do not be so sure that the UK will not start to catch Germany up. However Brexit will heap one more economic problem onto Germany as the EU will no longer have UK contributions the distribution of wealth from richer EU members to poorer ones will become an even greater burden for Germany.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        And the poorer nations in the EU will forever vote for bigger budgets and more money for themselves at the expense of Germany and a few others. Either that or, the money belt has to be seriously tightened which will make the EU no longer attractive to them.

        A true rock and a hard place, me thinks.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        @Epikouros: SInce the UK joined (1973) its currency lost more than 70% of its value compared with stronger (German or Dutch) currencies – if that wasn’t enough to make the pound weaker and boost export, I really don’t know what would!

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Have you sorted your eggs out yet Peter, you would be better employed worrying about that.
      Btw Germany will start to feel the pinch now the value of the Euro has rocketed.
      Perhaps a recession is on the cards for the EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg: Just keep hoping for it, Ian! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          PvL–Be assured many of us will do just that

    • Captcha King
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      PvL – Admittedly the EU wasn’t to blame for most things. However the local bureaucrats who used EU laws and dictats as a cover caused the UK revolution we know as Brexit.

  5. Mark B
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    No country has said no, but no country has said yes either.

    Until we have a trade deal to sign we have nothing and all this talk is just that – talk !

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    “Just as Leave argued, trade deals the EU currently has with third countries will become trade deals with both the EU and the UK on our departure.”

    I think “will” is perhaps a little strong, I could certainly go along with “could”, “easily could”, or “probably will”, but not that definite prediction “will”.

    The point is the contracting parties to a treaty can do more or less what they like with it provided that none of them are going to object, which in some cases could also mean that none of the national parliaments will object. If they want to bring some new parts into effect early, before full formal ratification by all the parties, they can do that through provisional application, a status which may continue for many years. If they want to add a new party or remove one of the parties they can agree to do that with just a few tweaks if needed, and then get the legal formalities completed later. Unless one or more of the parties is already dissatisfied with the treaty and is looking for a good excuse to terminate it then practical common sense will usually argue for a lot of flexibility.

  7. James Neill
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Great- now we are going to do a deal with Japan, 4-5 weeks sailing time away, with all of the additional associated shipping costs, including panama canal transit costs and/or by passing around SE Asia and with the chance of bad weather time delays, extra insurance costs, including extra warehousing needed etc. Great- we are to leave a market of 500 ready made consumers with huge spending power right on our own doorstep in favour of a deal with countries on the other side of the world? So now it’s ‘back to the future’-Great

    Reply Despite these costs and with no trade deal or special access to our market China sells us huge amounts.

    • Helen
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      How revealing. So Redwood’s vision for the UK is Chinese standards of safety, worker protection and pollution control

      Reply |Of course not. Why do you have to lie? Clearly you have nothing sensible to contribute.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Aston Martin last week signed a £500 million deal with Japan, Scotch Whisky sales at an all time high.
      have you noticed how many Japanese cars are in UK showrooms and despite 10% tax remain competitive with other manufacturers.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      So where do we trade most successfully, James?

      The EU? Nope, year after year they get more out of it than we do.

      The rest of the world? Yep, at least some years we run a surplus.

      You can list all the theoretical disadvantages of trading outside the EU, but in practice we do better with that than with all those “ready made consumers with huge spending power right on our own doorstep”.

      But don’t bother with the reality, stick with your theory.

      • James Neill
        Posted September 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, well Denis we’ll see soon enough how all of this going to play out- very likely we’ll end up half in and half out of the EU paying for access but with no say at all on European matters or future decisions. What some here are thinking now is that the British Empire is going to magically come back..more nonsense.. and neither are we going to resurrect the merchant navy either ..those days are well and truly gone. The world is swinging now towards closer cohesion and regionalism for trading purposes with access to markets nearby for trading, standards, movement of people etc etc, , and not by making a future built for trade deals with countries on the other side of the world as a first option. Japan has been there for a centuries before and we didn’t bother too much, so why bother now? Cars and fridges one way and just exactly what are we going to sell them by return? maybe scotch- big deal

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          We will see how it all plays out, and I am confident that we will carry on trading with the EU countries as well as expanding our more profitable trade elsewhere in the world. And that’s nothing to do with the British Empire, which is merely typical of your europhile thinking.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Trade patterns are going to change-China’s Belt & Road Initiative and longer term (with continued Arctic ice melt) Russia’s North East sea lane(halving the journey time from the far east to western European ports) should bring a new dynamic-if we are prepared to embrace them

  8. BillyElliot
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    So just asking. What is this information based on?

    As far as I am aware there is no hard data that copy past method would happen.
    Not with Japan not with any other country.
    Lets hope it happens but rarely do complex contracts – especially with the magnitude of a international trade deal – just go so smoothly.

  9. ian
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    You can have many free trade deals as you like for imports to bring cost down on food and that, but the simple fact is, when it come to exports you can only compete on high end goods like jet engines and drugs, with manufacture food and drinks, and things like that, but even there you have a lot competition from the eu, usa, japan, and places like that. You cannot compete against 10 dollars a day in china and 6 dollars a day in India. Companies now want to switch from china to india, because the labour cheaper, and need the uk gov to open up india for them so they can build new factories there, and make cheaper goods to export to the uk and elsewhere, and dose next to nothing for the british people apart from cheaper imports for retailers to earn bigger profit off the people. while sending money to india so it up grade it electric system for overseas companies, so they can have lots of cheap electric to compete with china, that why india and china are outside of the climate change agreement.
    To compete with china, first it has be a british factory that pays it taxes in the uk, then the factory has to be automated, like the new cadbury factory, with only 7 workers, rate free zones, with no vat on electric, with ample supply of electric, and lorries having their own road system to get around the country, and fined cheaper fuel to run them. Of course none of that going to happen, because your focus is on india, china, japan, and elsewhere.
    The british people doomed to more immigration for cheap labour, and hand outs by the gov to them, apart from the ones who will working in high end industries and finance, where the companies can cut wages at the high end, and replace british workers, with work visas for indian workers.
    It’s all just another force dawn for the uk people.

  10. Simon
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Come on John you must know better than this. The EU has in total nearly one thousand trade deals with third countries. In some of them the EU is our signatory. In others the EU MS are also signatories so they are multilateral. Any trade deal may in theory be novated but it requires the consent of all parties. One of those parties being the EU. That is unlikely to be forthcoming and if it is forthcoming it is furthermore unlikely to be on the same terms. Re arranging that lot is a monstrous world wide admin/diplomatic task which will take at least a decade to unravel. Why do you persist in publishing such broad, over simplified and misleading statements?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      So let me make sure that I get this right. You agree that “Any trade deal may in theory be novated”, with the consent of all parties, in flat contradiction of those who claim that as a matter of theoretical legal principle all the EU trade deals must automatically fall for the UK when it leaves the EU, and it would then take many years to replace them with new deals negotiated from scratch. However you think that this theoretically possible novation of trade deals won’t happen specifically because the EU is one of the parties to the deals and its consent is “unlikely to be forthcoming”. In other words you are expecting the EU to adopt an unnecessarily vindictive and destructive approach, in breach of its international commitments made through its own treaties as well as other treaties. So do you still want us to remain subordinated to that organisation, of which you yourself evidently have such a low opinion?

      Reply The EU cant block our agreement with the other party to the EU Agreement

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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