The UK has signed a free trade deal with Singapore worth £17.6bn.
The deal – the latest in a series of agreements the government is trying to broker around the globe – is the second biggest agreement Britain has signed in the Asia-Pacific region, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.
The agreement was signed by Ms Truss and Singapore‘s trade minister Chan Chun Sing at a ceremony in the Southeast Asian city-state.
Today I signed a deal with Singapore covering £17.6bn of trade – the 2nd biggest agreement we’ve signed in #AsiaPacific 🇬🇧🇸🇬
✅It secures certainty for biz
✅Means deeper future ties in digital & services trade
✅ Is further proof we can succeed as an independent trading nation pic.twitter.com/6pMLqB7V9B
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) December 10, 2020
Ms Truss said the pact with Singapore “secures certainty” for business, would mean “deeper future ties in digital and services trade”, and was “further proof we can succeed as an independent trading nation”.
It effectively mirrors the agreement Singapore already has in place with the EU, meaning trade should continue as normal from 1 January.
It follows the UK and Canada reaching a similar deal last month to also continue trading under the same terms as the current EU agreement after the Brexit transition period ends.
Another rollover deal with Vietnam is also expected to be signed soon.
Meanwhile, UK and EU negotiators have begun a final push to salvage chances of a post-Brexit trade deal after Downing Street warned the gaps between the two sides remain “very large”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen held crunch talks over dinner in Brussels on Wednesday aimed at breaking the deadlock, yet key differences prevail.