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Call for evidence on UK-Japan trade negotiations launched

25 June 2020

The House of Lords International Agreements Sub-Committee has today launched a further inquiry, seeking evidence on the ongoing UK-Japan trade negotiations.


As negotiations between the UK and Japan over a free trade agreement progress, the committee is seeking evidence on a range of issues, including an initial focus on the automotive sector, and trade in digital goods and services.

The committee is asking for submissions of written evidence to be received by Monday 31 August.

Chair's comments

Lord Goldsmith QC, Chair of the International Agreements Sub-Committee, said:

"Following the recent launch of our inquiry on US-UK trade negotiations, we are now looking to take evidence on another major priority for the Government, UK-Japan negotiations.

"Japan is the UK's 4th largest non-EU export market, with trade between the two countries flourishing. As the UK is set to leave the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) when the transition period ends, the Government aims to agree a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Japan that builds on the EU-Japan EPA to keep trade between the two countries flowing.

"With negotiations now underway, we are seeking evidence related to several areas in order to inform our scrutiny of any potential deal. The Government's scoping assessment suggests that there will be particular benefits for Scotland and the East Midlands, as well as London, and we'd be especially interested to hear evidence from people, businesses and organisations in those areas."

Questions the committee is inviting evidence on include:


  • Does the Department for International Trade (DIT) have the right objectives in mind for UK-Japan negotiations?
  • How reliable do you find the DIT's assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed agreement with the Japan?
  • How might Japanese investment in the UK be impacted by a UK-Japan trade deal?
  • Might the UK and Japan pursue a mini deal instead of a comprehensive FTA?
  • How might a trade deal with Japan help the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and what benefits would there be in joining?
  • Do the devolved nations of the UK have any specific interests that need to be protected as part of the negotiation of a UK-wide trade deal with Japan? 

Automotive sector

  • How might an early removal of tariffs on Japanese automobile and part imports impact the UK automotive industry?
  • Would there be a significant economic benefit to UK consumers if there was an early removal of tariffs on Japanese automotive imports?
  • What rules of origin and cumulation requirements are necessary in a UK-Japan trade agreement?

Digital goods and services

  • How might negotiated digital trade provisions serve as enablers for businesses in the UK?
  • What might be the trade-offs for the UK in agreeing ambitious digital trade provisions with Japan?
  • As the UK is negotiating trade deals with both the US and Japan at the same time, how might this impact the UK's negotiating leverage in this area?

Agriculture and food sectors

What consequences might there be for the UK agriculture and food industries if a deal is agreed? In particular, if a mini-deal or a limited version of a trade deal is agreed?

Further information