Brexit LIVE: Japan to seal free-trade deal with UK – minister arrives in London tomorrow

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Toshimitsu Motegi will fly into London tomorrow for the start of the three-day trade talks with Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade. The Japanese Foreign Minister will stay in the UK from August 5-7, with a deal expected to be signed in just a matter of weeks.

Mr Moteigi said: “It is indispensable to swiftly form a framework for trade and investment between Japan and Britain that will replace the Japan-EU EPA to ensure the smooth continuation of bilateral businesses.”

He acknowledged the talks may not be plain sailing, which is why they need to be held in person.

The Foreign Minister said: “Difficult negotiations such as this, where national interest is at stake, cannot be conducted over the telephone.

“We will negotiate face-to-face. I’m afraid negotiations will last many hours, but I would like to find middle ground and reach an agreement.”

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Japan and the UK will hope to bring talks on a free trade agreement to a close this week.

Such an outcome should be achievable, as the trade deal is set to be largely replicated on the EU-Japan trade agreement, but with added bonuses for both sides.

The Japan-UK trade deal will come into force when the EU transition period ends on December 31.

Mr Motegi’s visit to London will be the first overseas trip made by any Japanese minister since the coronavirus outbreak.

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8.30am update: Britons fled to Europe after 2016 Brexit vote

The number of Britons emigrating to the EU has risen by 30 percent since the 2016 vote, with half making their decision to leave in the first three months after the referendum.

Migration from Britain to the EU averaged at 56,832 people a year in 2008-15, rising to 73,642 a year in 2016-18, according to analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat.

The research found a large increase in Britons who made the move and then took up citizenship in an EU state.

Germany saw a 2,000 percent rise, with 31,600 Britons becoming a citizen there since the referendum.

Co-author Daniel Tetlow said “Brexit was by far the most dominant driver of migration decisions since 2016”.

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