Blog: Britain poised to sign Indo-Pacific trade deal in Brexit victory – The Telegraph

Britain is poised to join an Indo-Pacific trade pact in a major post-Brexit win, as the economy pivots away from the European Union.

The Government is expected to shortly announce that Britain has become the first non-founding member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Joining the partnership would give businesses easier access to markets worth a combined $10 trillion.

Ministers will hold meetings this week with counterparts in various Indo-Pacific nations to put the finishing touches to a deal.

The CPTPP, which was formed in 2018, currently covers 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

CPTPP members account for 13pc of global domestic product (GDP) and 15pc of global trade.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “Negotiations have been proceeding well on CPTPP, and ministers are due to have discussions with their counterparts later this week.”

The Department for Business and Trade has hailed “great progress” towards the UK’s accession.

Stephanie Rickard, professor of political science at the London School of Economics, said: “The UK is trailblazing. This is changing the agreement from being a regional agreement to a global agreement.”

Joining the CPTPP will bring a particular boost for Scottish whisky exports, and will likely boost electronic and digital trade, Ms Rickard said.

Trade with members of the CPTPP currently accounts for 8pc of British exports but is expected to grow rapidly after joining the trade deal.

Ms Rickard said: “There is a clear pivot towards the Indo-Pacific region.”

Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “This is going to help reorientate our trade towards other parts of the world which are faster growing, both in terms of population growth and economic growth.

“It is a positive sign in terms of shifting the focus of the UK trade away from Europe.”

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said an update would be provided at the “earliest possible opportunity”.

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