Liz Truss slams SNP for 'harking back to EU' on deal
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Negotiations will begin with the £9trillion Pacific free trade bloc that will create “unparalleled opportunities” for UK businesses. An agreement will give greater access to some of the world’s biggest economies as well as those on the rise in an area with a population of half a billion. The start of talks is a “landmark moment” for the UK as an independent trading nation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said joining will “open up unparalleled opportunities for British businesses and consumers in the fast-growing Indo-Pacific.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to build on this country’s entrepreneurial spirit and free-trading history to bring economic benefits across the whole of the UK.”
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will start the talks to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) tomorrow.
The bloc is made up of 11 countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
UK exports to CPTPP nations are set to increase by £37billion by 2030 and the deal would increase that by at least £3.3billion, although the figure is expected to be much higher as firms take full advantage of the changes in the fast-growing economies.
A deal would lower tariffs on goods like cars and whisky and open up new markets for UK farmers.
But unlike the EU, membership does not require Britain to give up control over its laws and money.
Mr Truss said a deal would be a “glittering post-Brexit prize” and put Britain in prime position as markets grow outside Europe.
She will open negotiations in a video call with Japanese counterpart Yasutoshi Nishimura in the Churchill Room in the Old Admiralty Building.
Ms Truss said: “This part of the world is where Britain’s greatest opportunities lie.
“We left the EU with the promise of deepening links with old allies and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe, and joining the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important part of that vision.
“Membership would help our farmers, makers and innovators sell to some of the biggest economies of the present and future, but without ceding control over our laws, borders or money. It is a glittering post-Brexit prize that I want us to seize.”
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Nearly two-thirds of the world’s middle classes are expected to be in Asia by 2030 and the trade bloc is expected to grow to include the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea.
The bloc will account for 25 per cent of global import demand for meat by the end of the decade, giving British farmers new markets for high-quality produce.
Membership should mean tariff-free trade for 99.9 per cent of all exports.
It would also make it easier for UK firms to sell services digitally and expand overseas.
Miles Celic, chief executive officer at TheCityUK, which represents financial services, said: “The world’s economic centre of gravity is shifting towards the Indo-Pacific.
“Being part of the CPTPP would give UK firms greater access to one of the fastest growing populations of middle-class consumers in the world.
“This economic shift will increase demand for the financial and related professional services and products in which the UK excels.”
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