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International Trade Committee launches inquiry into UK-Japan trade agreement

23 October 2020

The International Trade Committee is launching an inquiry on the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which has been signed today.

The Committee will be considering the likely impacts of the Agreement, how it differs from the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), and the extent to which the Government has achieved its negotiating objectives.

The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRAG) requires that the Government lay a treaty before Parliament 21 sitting days before ratification. The Committee aims to conclude its inquiry and publish its report before the end of this period.

Chair's comments

Angus Brendan MacNeil, the Chair of the Committee, said:

“As part of our ongoing work regarding UK trade negotiations, this inquiry will explore how the UK-Japan deal could affect people and businesses across the UK, and the differences between this agreement and the EU’s agreement with Japan.”

“The time available for us to scrutinise this agreement is very limited – and as such, we are not able to conduct comprehensive technical or legal analysis of the text. Instead we will be taking evidence from stakeholders and experts and will prepare a report highlighting the key points we have heard. In our report, we will decide whether or not to recommend this agreement for debate in the Chamber. The Government has said it will seek to hold such a debate, if we recommend it.”


The Committee’s inquiry is now open for short submissions on some, or all, of the following questions until 5.00 pm on Wednesday, 11 November. Submissions should be made using the UK trade negotiations: Agreement with Japan inquiry page. The short deadline for submissions is necessary so that the Committee can publish its report before the end of the 21-day sitting period prior to treaty ratification, as set out under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

  • How are the terms of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UK and Japan likely to affect you, your business or organisation, or those you represent?
  • In what ways does CEPA differ from the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA)?
  • To what extent has the Government achieved its negotiating objectives, as set out in May 2020?
  • Does CEPA represent a good deal for the UK?
  • What is likely to be the impact of the agreement on:
    • the UK’s economy as a whole?
    • particular sectors of the UK economy?
    • the UK’s devolved nations and English regions?
    • social, labour, environmental and animal welfare issues?
    • UK consumers?

Further information

Image: Number 10 via Flickr