Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured) is visiting Asia next week for talks, and insisted the UK can be a member of CPTPP by the end of the year
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Britain moves a step closer to joining £8trillion trans-Pacific trading club including Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico

  • UK has entered final stage of accession process to trans-Pacific trading group
  • Group including Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico has GDP of £8trn-plus
  • Joining is central to Boris Johnson’s pivot away from EU to faster-growing areas 

Britain has moved a step closer to joining a £8trillion trans-Pacific trade club including Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

Ministers have hailed news that the UK has entered the the final phase of accession into the snappily-named Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The 13-strong group – also featuring Malaysia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – agree to remove 95 per cent of the tariffs between them. 

Membership could give the powerhouse British services sector more opportunities in rapidly-expanding Asian markets. The trade zone has a total GDP of around £8.4trillion.  

The step is central to the government’s plans to pivot away from the EU and take a more global approach after Brexit.

It has become more of a focus since Joe Biden poured cold water on the idea of a quick trade deal with the US – which had been talked up by Donald Trump.

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is visiting Indonesia, Japan and Singapore next week for talks, insisted the ‘finish line is in sight’ and the UK can be a member of CPTPP by the end of the year.

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured) is visiting Asia next week for talks, and insisted the UK can be a member of CPTPP by the end of the year

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured) is visiting Asia next week for talks, and insisted the UK can be a member of CPTPP by the end of the year

‘CPTPP is one of the largest and most exciting free-trading clubs in the world,’ she said. 

‘Today’s announcement is a major milestone for us joining this dynamic group of economies and means the finish line is in sight.

‘I look forward to visiting Asia next week and flying the flag for Global Britain by holding valuable trade talks with key partners across the Indo-Pacific region and pushing to secure CPTPP accession by the end of the year. 

‘This just one aspect of our Indo-Pacific strategy, which will benefit businesses and consumer across every part of the UK and help us to level up at home.’

Japan, which heads the pact’s accessions working group, said the UK is now expected to submit its offer on market access and tariffs within the next 30 days. 

The UK applied to join in February last year, and in June the CPTPP announced that the accession process would begin. 

The UK would be the second biggest economy in the partnership after Japan. 

The group was launched in 2018, after Donald Trump dropped out of the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) saying the terms were not good enough for the US. 

Boris Johnson has previously praised the opportunities offered by the CPTPP

Boris Johnson has previously praised the opportunities offered by the CPTPP

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