Britain has signed a free trade deal with Singapore worth £17.6billion as the end of the Brexit transition period nears.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said it was the second biggest such agreement Britain has signed in the Asia-Pacific region.
It comes as UK and EU negotiators begin a final push to salvage chances of a post-Brexit trade deal after Downing Street warned the gaps between the two sides remain ‘very large’.
Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen held crunch talks over dinner in Brussels on Wednesday aimed at breaking the deadlock, yet key differences prevail.
Truss said the pact with Singapore ‘secures certainty’ for business, would mean ‘deeper future ties in digital and services trade’ and was ‘further proof we can succeed as an independent trading nation’.
It follows the UK and Canada reaching a deal last month to continue trading under the same terms as the current European Union agreement after the Brexit transition period ends.
The Prime Minister and Von der Leyen have agreed a ‘firm decision’ about the future of Brexit negotiations will be made by Sunday.
Johnson flew to Belgium yesterday in a bid to sort out the ‘significant differences’ between the UK and the EU.
He and the European Commission President previously agreed that fisheries, governance and a level playing field – ensuring Britain isn’t given special treatment over EU nations – remained the three critical sticking points.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
var fbApiInit=false;var awaitingReady=;