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The U.K. and South Korea on Thursday are due to sign a continuity deal to ensure the two nations continue to trade on preferential terms after Britain leaves the European Union.
The new free trade agreement replicates "as far as possible" the terms of the existing EU-South Korea deal that was signed in 2011, the U.K. Department for International Trade said in an emailed statement. Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Korean Minister of Trade Yoo Myung-hee are due to sign the deal in London, it said.
Britain has been working to protect trade relationships it enjoys through EU trade deals by rolling those terms over to apply after Brexit. In total, deals accounting for 89 billion pounds ($108 billion) of trade have now been struck. The South Korean agreement is one of the biggest to date, protecting trade between the two nations worth 14.6 billion pounds -- more than 1% of Britain’s commerce.
Yoo said in the U.K. statement that the signing "will remove much Brexit uncertainty out of our long, valuable economic partnership."
Some 6,900 British businesses export goods to Korea, according to the trade department. Thursday’s agreement is now subject to domestic legislative procedures in both countries before it can come into force. It’s designed to take effect on Brexit day, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 31. Until then, trade between the two nations is covered by the EU deal.
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