Monday, 22 October, 2018

United Kingdom in talks to join TPP to boost post-Brexit trade

It's important to prepare for the risk of hard Brexit: Swedish Finance Minister United Kingdom in talks to join TPP to boost post-Brexit trade
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2018, 22:26

As it stands, the 11 remaining TPP countries, which include Canada, Japan and Mexico, have agreed to push forward with a TPP now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The move, if made, would happen in line with Brexit's end and would make Britain the first member nation that doesn't border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea. The Pacific is 4,500 miles from London.

It lost its largest member previous year when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, but the remaining 11 nations have pledged to press ahead without American participation.

The UK's current trade with members of TPP is significantly smaller than its trade with the EU. In the meantime, Great Britain can choose to reach bilateral agreements with member countries before agreeing to join the TPP in full. The UK is not allowed to make trade deals before it formally leaves the bloc.

The TPP has 11 members following the withdrawal of the United States previous year.

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

In November 2017, Fox accused British businesses of not being enthusiastic enough about global trade, saying Britain must "get more of our companies to think about exporting overseas".

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TPP was signed in February 2016 but implementation was put on hold after Donald Trump withdrew United States participation in January 2017.

Officials at the Department of International Trade are believed to have already held preliminary talks with the group about the possibility of joining.

Tim Farron, the former Liberal Democrat leader, said: "This smacks of desperation".

Creasy, a leading supporter of the pro-single market campaign Open Britain, said: "The Prime Minister wants us to believe that the economic damage of leaving the European Union will be made up by concluding trade deals around the world - but her own trade minister can't point to a single country that has expressed an interest in a free trade deal with Britain".

But critics suggested the idea of joining TPP was a distraction from the problems Britain faces when it leaves the EU. "It's all pie in the sky thinking".

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.

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