What use is the CPTPP trade deal to Britain?

Not much, unless you’re a Brexiteer looking for tangible evidence of new global partnerships, says Sean O’Grady

Friday 31 March 2023 20:25 BST
Boris Johnson started efforts towards Rishi Sunak’s CPTPP membership
Boris Johnson started efforts towards Rishi Sunak’s CPTPP membership (Reuters)

Rishi Sunak has hailed Britain’s acceptance as a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), claiming it puts Britain in a “prime position” in the global economy. “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. “Joining puts the UK at the centre of a dynamic and growing group of Pacific economies, as the first new nation and first European country to join.”

What is the CPTPP?

It is a kind of economic club – more than just a free-trade zone such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but less than a nascent political federation such as the European Union. It comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It used to include the US, which withdrew during the Trump presidency.

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