Last reviewed 16 October 2020
As the end of the transition period draws nearer, the Government has been working to replace or duplicate the many trade agreements it currently enjoys through its membership of the EU.
Unless new deals are agreed, it will lose those benefits with effect from 1 January 2021 so the Department for International Trade (DIT) has been seeking to reproduce the effects of existing EU agreements for when they no longer apply to the UK.
The latest country to be added to the list is Ukraine, with which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently signed a Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement.
He stressed that this will allow businesses to continue trading as they do now after the end of the transition period. The new agreement delivers the same level of liberalisation in trade, services and public procurement that businesses currently enjoy under the existing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Mr Johnson said.
Trade between the UK and Ukraine was worth £1.5 billion in 2019. Top UK goods exports to Ukraine were aircraft (£79 million), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£61 million) and cars (£52 million). The UK imported £177 million of cereals and £182 million of iron and steel from Ukraine in 2019.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “Thanks to this deal, the aircraft, automotive and pharmaceutical industries can continue to thrive and support jobs in Ukraine and across the UK.”
The UK has now signed or agreed in principle trade agreements with 50 countries. This includes the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which was agreed in principle on 11 September 2020.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries? for a full list.
Negotiations are still ongoing with a range of countries including Canada, Egypt, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam.