Brexit blow: exports to Japan slump after ‘landmark’ free trade deal

First such accord after leaving EU was predicted to bring £15bn boost but UK now lags rivals

The first major free trade agreement signed by Britain after Brexit has been branded a failure after new figures showed exports had fallen since it came into force.

Liz Truss signed a “historic” deal with Japan as trade secretary in October 2020, describing it as a “landmark moment for Britain”. It was claimed it would boost trade by billions of pounds and help the UK recover from the pandemic.

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