Australian trade minister Dan Tehan today tweeted a picture of himself in a virtual meeting alongside politicians for the 10 other countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Its members, which also include Canada, New Zealand and Japan, are home to more than 500 million people – presenting huge opportunities for UK firms.
Mr Tehan revealed that the CPTPP’s Commission had “decided to commence an accession process with the United Kingdom”.
He added: “The economic and strategic heft of the #CPTPP will be strengthened through the accession of high quality, high ambition economies.”
Liz Truss – the International Trade Secretary – reacted to the “excellent news” that the UK had begun joining the “dynamic free trade area”.
She tweeted: “We’ll present our plans to Parliament in the coming weeks before starting negotiations.”
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If its application is successful the UK would be the first non-founding member to join the club and it would become its second-largest economy behind Japan.
The UK Government has expressed its desire to join the free trade organisation since 2018 – as an effective marketplace to export goods to.
Before leaving the Single Market this was never possible – because of the restrictions placed on the UK by bureaucrats in Brussels.
Now free from the shackles of the bloc – Brexit Britain can exploit burgeoning markets in Asia and South America.
Their economic growth is predicted to far outstrip Europe’s over the coming years.
And by seeking to piggyback on to that by establishing frictionless trade – Brexit Britain could reap the rewards that leaving the EU has handed us.
In an official statement Ms Truss added: “CPTTP membership is a huge opportunity for Britain.
“It will help shift our economic centre of gravity away from Europe towards faster-growing parts of the world, and deepen our access to massive consumer markets in the Asia-Pacific.
“We would get all the benefits of joining a high-standards free trade area, but without having to cede control of our borders, money or laws.
“The government will publish its outline approach, scoping assessment and consultation response before negotiations start in the coming weeks.”