Brexit Britain joins new £11trillion trade bloc which will rival EU as new opportunities unleashed
Britain has been accepted into a £10.9trillion trade bloc with Rishi Sunak hailing the deal for putting the UK in a “prime position” in the global economy.
The accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was formally confirmed overnight in a telephone call between Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and counterparts from the group.
It represents Britain’s biggest trade deal since leaving the EU, with the CPTPP accounting for 15 per cent of global GDP.
Its GDP is similar to the size of the EU.
As well as now the UK, members of the bloc are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The US has previous also suggested it is interested in joining the group.
Sunak said the agreement demonstrated how the UK is able to take advantage of its “post-Brexit freedoms” to strike agreements that were impossible when it was in the EU which will drive economic growth across the country.
“We are at our heart an open and free-trading nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms,” he said.
“As part of CPTPP, the UK is now in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation.”
He added that it would put the UK at the centre of a “dynamic” group of Pacific economies, giving British businesses “unparalleled access to markets from Europe to the south Pacific”.
However, critics have said the impact will be limited, with official estimates suggesting it will add just £1.8billion a year to the economy after 10 years.
Labour’s shadow trade secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The Conservative Government’s track record in striking good trade deals is desperately poor.
“Other countries joining CPTPP arrangements have secured important safeguards and put in place support for their producers: it is vital that ministers set out if they plan to do the same.”
More to follow…