South Korea, UK agree to sign free trade deal ahead of Brexit

South Korea trade deal on the table | Business

31 as the new Brexit deadline to allow the country to find the best possible solution, which means the new agreement must be ratified by the date to be immediately implemented in November, Seoul's trade ministry said.

It would cover South Korean exports including cars and auto parts. The preliminary trade deal was struck by Yoo Myung-hee, Korea's minister of trade, and Liam Fox, the United Kingdom worldwide trade secretary, on Monday in Seoul.

The agreement, reached on Monday between South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and visiting British counterpart Liam Fox, marks the biggest preliminary post-Brexit FTA deal yet agreed by London in Asia, or, indeed, globally. "We will make our best efforts to help South Korean businesses maintain their operations with Britain without troubles", Yoo added.

However, the irony that the future deal will be closely modeled on an EU-South Korea deal signed in 2010 - when Brexit was not even a speck on the political horizon - is unlikely to be overlooked.

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It is Britain's first post-Brexit trade deal in Asia and follows similar agreements with nations including Chile, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

"This means that whatever happens with Brexit, there will be total continuity in trade between our two countries and the basis for an ambitious future free trade agreement when we leave the European Union", tweeted Fox. Some changes were made to the existing Korea-EU FTA in the latest bilateral agreement.

The agreement will be formally signed once it has been subject to formal checks.

A priority for the government has been to get these countries to roll over their trade deals with the UK. The two countries now need to seek ratification from their respective parliaments before October 31.

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