From October 2020 [updated], the UK has concluded a new trade agreement (with Japan) [a] to continue 20 existing agreements (EU) and new negotiations are ongoing. The British government calls itself a supporter of free trade.   The UK is also working to replicate the effects of existing EU trade agreements when they no longer apply to the UK. These are called continuity agreements. Changes to the table “Trade agreements under discussion”: the figures for “percentage of UK total trade, 2018” have been updated following the publication of UK trade statistics from the Office for National Statistics. Two weeks ago, the UKTPO called for greater transparency on the government`s current progress in reconstituting existing agreements between the EU and third countries. Last Thursday, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox MP made a public announcement confirming that little has changed since his testimony before the International Trade Select Committee on February 6 and that progress has been minimal. To date, only six of the 40 existing trade agreements have been signed, covering a total of 9 countries; Chile, Faroe Islands, Switzerland, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. Another agreement is about to be concluded and adds 2 more countries to the list (Fiji and Papua New Guinea). There are still about sixty free trade agreements (FTA) without a continuity agreement.
Some new agreements will not enter into force until the UK leaves the EU. Trade is then done on the terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As of October 2020[Update], the UK had concluded 24 trade agreements with 53 countries, some using an appropriate approach to quickly replicate existing agreements between the EU and these countries, citing only these minor areas of differentiation (which helped reduce some of the agreements in the original agreement from 1400 to around 40 pages). . . .
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