The House of Commons - 19 November 2020
Second report of Session 2019–21, UK - Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
1. The Agreement and our scrutiny
1. The terms of trade between the UK and Japan are currently governed by the Japan- EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA). When the post-Brexit transition period ceases at the end of 2020, JEEPA will no longer apply to the UK. Consequently, in the absence of a replacement agreement, the terms of trade between the UK and Japan would default to those provided for under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules alone.
2. The UK Government published its objectives for a trade agreement with Japan on 13 May 2020. Negotiations took place between 9 June and 29 July (between o cials in virtual format) and during 6–7 August (at ministerial level, in person in London). On 11 September, the two sides concluded an Agreement in Principle, with the Department for International Trade (DIT) stating that the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) “is tailored to the UK economy and secures additional bene ts beyond the EU-Japan trade deal”.
3. On 14 September the Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, told the House of Commons that our Committee would be given advanced sight of the Agreement text prior to its being laid in Parliament as required under Section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRaG).2 She indicated that this would be done to assist us in preparing a report on the Agreement.3 (At the same time, the Government con rmed it would be taking an equivalent approach to sharing the text with the House of Lords EU International Agreements Sub-committee.) On 17 September, we met in private with the Secretary of State to discuss the outlines of the Agreement and the Government’s intentions regarding parliamentary scrutiny of CEPA and future new trade agreements.