Britain is interested in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Lester Mason
January 12, 2018

Britain could join the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to kick-start exports after Brexit. It quoted a junior trade minister saying there was no geographical restriction on the deal.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership's 11 members are Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Trump withdrew from the agreement previous year, saying: "We've been talking about [withdrawal] for a long time". The 11 signatories, also including Japan, last November reached a broad accord on a revised TPP deal.

While British Trade Minister Liam Fox said Britain wanted "to talk to our global trading partners", he said it was too soon to formally seek membership of the TPP.

The 11 countries that remain in the TPP have expressed their commitment to the group's trade effort nonetheless.

Britain joining would also be a huge boost for the TPP, which accounts for about 8 per cent of United Kingdom exports, after it was severely damaged when US President Donald Trump withdrew last January.

Labour MP and Open Britain supporter Chuka Umunna says new trade deals "would not come close to making up for lost trade with the European Union after a hard Brexit".

"In these multilateral relations, there should be no geographical constraints", said Greg Hands.

However, Liam Fox's Department for International Trade is said to be developing the proposals to join.

An International Trade spokeswoman said: "We have set up 14 trade 'working groups" across 21 countries to explore the best ways of progressing our trade and investment relationships across the world.

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". "It's all pie in the sky thinking".

The China-proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) is now likely to be in focus as the TPP appears to crumble.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the government would match these so-called Basic Payment Scheme funds for "a number of years" beyond a two-year transition meant to ease Britain's withdrawal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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