The government announced yesterday (15 December) that it has signed a trade continuity deal with Mexico, preserving around £5bn annually.
It is the latest in a string of agreements that roll over current preferential trading arrangements that the UK has had access to as a former member of the EU
According to the Department for International Trade, the deal will benefit the automotive, pharmaceutical, textiles, agriculture, food and drink, and other manufacturing industries.
Mexico is also a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which the UK has expressed an interest in joining in the medium-term future.
Mexico joins Singapore, Canada, Switzerland and Vietnam in the list of countries for which the UK has recently ‘rolled over’ deals from its membership in the EU – the full list can be found here.
Without a continuity deal, the UK would have reverted to trading with Mexico under WTO rules when ceasing to trade under EU arrangements at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
The UK also secured a free trade agreement with Japan earlier this year, which will continue many of the rules and preferential duty rates already in place under the EU’s deal but with enhancements on digital and SME trade.
Focus on India
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also planning a visit to India next year with the two countries planning to deepen trade ties, according to Reuters. Anglo-Indian trade is currently worth £20bn.
Following talks in New Delhi yesterday, Foreign Secretary Raab said he “would like to nudge our trade negotiators along and see what we can achieve”.
Both countries are looking to broaden trading relationships with other nations.
India last year pulled out of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement – due to fears over China’s access to its markets.
Britain is itself seeking to sign its first trade deals as an independent nation after leaving the EU in January 2020.