A continuity Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been signed by the UK and South Korea. The aim is to make sure that businesses are able to keep trading freely after Brexit, which is currently scheduled for 31 October.

Trade between the UK and Korea has increased by an average of 12% per year since the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2011. In 2018, that trade was worth £14.6 billion.

In 2017, there were some 6900 British businesses exporting goods to South Korea, valued at almost £6 billion.

This new agreement will, according to the Department for International Trade (DIT), help to further strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries.

As far as possible, the UK-Korea FTA replicates the provisions of the existing EU-Korea trade deal, thus allowing businesses to continue to benefit from preferential terms.

One of the companies that will benefit from the continuity deal is Bentley Motors, which started exporting to South Korea in 2006.

Commenting on the news, Warren Clarke, Bentley Brand Manager South Korea, welcomed the stability that the FTA brings, predicting that it will enable the company “to continue to promote the very best of British automotive engineering and craftsmanship as we grow our business in South Korea”.

Before it can enter into force, the draft agreement must be formally approved by the parliaments of both parties.

While the UK is still a member of the EU, it will continue to be covered by the EU-Korea agreement, with the new continuity arrangement applying only when the current deal ceases no longer applies to this country.

The DIT notes that the UK has now signed 13 post-Brexit trade continuity agreements, covering 38 countries.

Last reviewed 6 September 2019