Britain is a major force once again, Liz Truss says, as UK signs free trade deal in Singapore

Liz Truss said Britain was re-emerging as a main trade pressure as she signed a free of charge trade deal with Singapore on Thursday, the UK’s most up-to-date agreement ahead of the departure from the European Union on Dec. 31.

The deal signed by the Trade Secretary and her Singaporean counterpart comes as Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen attempted to seal a new trade pact and avert what some dread will be a chaotic end to the five-12 months Brexit approach.

The agreement stuck in Singapore mainly mirrors a standing agreement the point out has with the EU.

“Fifty five many years just after Singapore’s independence, the British isles is re-emerging as a fully independent nation, and a main pressure in world-wide trade,” Ms Truss said ahead of the signing.

“Jointly, we are paving the way for a brighter long term, loaded in economic prospective and possibility.”

Singapore, a rich city-point out of 5.7m individuals, counts Britain as its 3rd-biggest trading partner for items and next biggest for expert services, and its leading investment decision vacation spot in Europe.

Full bilateral trade amongst the two international locations was valued at $13.5bn in 2019, in accordance to Singapore’s official figures.

The deal gets rid of tariffs, offers each international locations obtain to every single other’s marketplaces in expert services and cuts non-tariff limitations in electronics, cars and car or truck areas, pharmaceutical solutions, medical devices and renewable power technology, the ministry explained.

Responsibilities will be removed by November 2024, the exact same timeline as the pact amongst the EU and Singapore.

The agreement “gives British organizations a system to obtain options in the area by way of Singapore”, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing explained as he signed the deal with Ms Truss.

“Outside of the major advantages to our respective organizations, the (deal) is a powerful statement towards protectionism and nativism,” Mr Chan explained, including it will be “very important in guaranteeing a powerful and resilient write-up-pandemic restoration for the environment”.

Britain signed its first main write-up-Brexit trade deal with Japan in Oct, but Thursday’s agreement is its first with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The 10-nation bloc is house to 650m people and – prior to the pandemic-induced downturn – had enjoyed quick economic growth in the latest many years.

Britain formally remaining the European Union at the end of January and has spent the 12 months negotiating its long term connection with Brussels and putting trade agreements with main economies such as Japan and Canada.

Mr Johnson and  Mrs Von der Leyen have provided them selves right up until the end of the weekend to seal a new trade pact just after failing to prevail over persistent rifts.

Failure to concur new policies to govern every little thing from trade to power ties would snarl borders, shock fiscal marketplaces and sow chaos by way of supply chains in a environment already grappling with the economic price tag of Covid-19.