Britain and South Korea ink deal to trade after Brexit

South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee (L) poses with Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox (R) during a signing ceremony of an in-principle South Korea-UK free trade agreement in Seoul. (AFP pic)

LONDON: Britain and South Korea on Thursday signed a deal that will allow the two countries to keep trading freely after Brexit.

The deal rolls over existing provisions under an EU trade deal and protects annual bilateral trade flows worth £14.6 billion (16 billion euros, US$17.7 billion) in 2018.

The move was hailed by two major exporters to South Korea luxury carmaker Bentley and the Denby Pottery Company.

“My priority is to make sure that British businesses are fully prepared for Brexit,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

Truss signed the agreement with South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-Hee.

“Today’s signing of the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) will remove much Brexit uncertainty out of our long, valuable economic partnership,” Yoo said.

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

Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on October 31.