The UK has struck a historic trade deal in principle with Japan – Britain's first agreement as an independent country for 47 years.
Liz Truss, the Trade Secretary, held a video call with the Japanese foreign minister, Motegi Toshimitsu, on Friday morning to seal the agreement, expected to come into force in January.
The free trade agreement is seen as a step towards Britain joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a bloc which also includes Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
It is expected to increase trade between the world's third and sixth-largest economies by £15.2 billion (see graphic below), according to estimates by the Department for International Trade.
David Henig, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy and a former UK trade negotiator, highlighted that this was compared to a no-deal scenario rather than in comparison with the European Union-Japan trading terms that currently apply to Britain.
Mrs Truss said: "This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan as our first major post-Brexit trade deal.
"The agreement we have negotiated – in record time and in challenging circumstances – goes far beyond the existing EU deal, as it secures new wins for British businesses in our great manufacturing, food and drink and tech industries."
The deal is expected to liberalise rules of origin, making it easier for some products, such as biscuits, to qualify for tariff-free trade.
It will open a dialogue between British and Japanese regulators on financial services and ease visa requirements for business people, so British workers transferring from a UK headquarters to a Tokyo office will be able to stay for up to five years with their spouse and dependants.
Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the CBI, described the deal as a "breakthrough moment".