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EU, Japan to push through free trade deal before Brexit – negotiators

The European Union and Japan are rushing to ensure that their planned free trade agreement can enter force early in 2019, ideally before Britain leaves the EU, Reuters quoted the lead negotiators of both sides as saying on Wednesday. Japan’s ambassador for international economic affairs, Yoichi Suzuki, said the deal agreed by negotiators last year would likely be presented to the Japanese parliament later in 2018. It would  allow ratification by the end of the year. “It’s a very high priority that it enter force before the end of March 2019,” he said in Brussels. If a deal entered into force before Brexit, it could apply automatically to Britain during a post-March 2019 transition period of around two years.