Britain and Mexico agree deal on post-Brexit trade
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LONDON - Britain and Mexico signed a deal on Tuesday to keep trade flowing between the two countries on existing terms after Britain leaves the European Union's common trade policy, with an agreement to begin negotiating a deeper partnership next year.
The continuity agreement prevents UK-Mexico trade from reverting to more restrictive World Trade Organisation terms once Britain's exit from EU trade orbit is complete on Jan. 1.
"This deal supports a trading relationship worth more than 5 billion pounds ($6.69 billion) and locks in access to each other’s markets," trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement.
Without such a deal, tariffs and duties estimated at 59 million pounds would have been applied to British exports like cars, beer and tea, her department said.
Britain has been racing to reach continuity agreements with trading partners across the globe as it lays the foundation for an independent trade policy which ministers have promoted as one of the main benefits of leaving the EU.
The department said it had so far secured deals with 58 countries, covering 198 billion pounds ($264.94 billion) of annual commerce - or 96% of the non-EU trade it had sought to protect.
Britain's trade within the EU was worth 668 billion pounds in 2019. Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeated on Tuesday that the most likely outcome of post-Brexit trade talks with the 27-nation EU was no deal, though his team would still try to reach one.
Truss also said Britain and Mexico had agreed to begin talks on a deal which would go further than the continuity agreement.
Mexico is a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - a trading bloc which Britain wants to join as part of its post-Brexit trade search for new markets in goods and professional services.
"It’s another really important stepping stone toward the UK joining CPTPP, and I look forward to making our application to do just that early next year," Truss said.