United Kingdom looks set to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade group after Brexit

Adjust Comment Print

In an attempt to gain new export markets after Brexit, officials have broached the idea of signing up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Pacific is 4,500 miles from London.

It could also breathe new vigor into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiated by former US President Barack Obama, which was hard hit by Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement past year.

The 11 remaining member states include Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Canada.

The members of TPP now account for about 8% of British exports.


Following eight years of negotiations an agreement had been reached, but that was thrown into doubt after President Trump honoured a campaign pledge and pulled out of the trade pact last year.

'With these kind of plurilateral relationships, there doesn't have to be any geographical restriction'.

Analysts have mused that TPP could be a major boost for China, which could fill the vacuum of economic firepower created by US's withdrawal.

News of potential trade groups could allow British farmers to "thrive" outside the European Union, following decades of being "boxed in" by the EU's agricultural policies. However, Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was too soon to tell if the United Kingdom would join. "The TPP covers not just trading goods but also intellectually property and starts dealing with IT and would be a very positive step for world trade".


Fellow non-euro country Sweden has long seen Britain as one of its closest partners in the union, and concerns have been raised that pressure for Sweden to join will increase when its ally leaves the EU.

Britain is said to be drawing up plans to join a trade group based on the other side of the world after Brexit.

The UK cabinet has yet to discuss Britain's potential membership of TPP. "It's all pie in sky thinking".

Barry Gardiner, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, said: "It is not the main event, and at the moment the government is making a hash of that". Michael Gove, the environment secretary, said in December that parliament would have an effective veto over any trade deal.


Comments