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In late June, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced Britain would press ahead with a bid to join a major trade tie-up between countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand after leaving the EU. Ms Truss said that the partnership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was the “next logical step” for post-Brexit Britain. She said: “I say to our old friends, Britain is back.”
The CPTPP is a high-quality free trade agreement which binds together Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei.
It covers nearly 14 percent of the global economy.
If the UK were to join the partnership, this share of global GDP is expected to rise to about 16 percent.
Australia and Japan have already informally pledged their support for British membership and others are unlikely to raise major objections.
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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss
Britain striking a trade deal with Japan this month seems to be the next step in that direction.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Australian Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz said about the prospect of Britain joining the CPTPP: “I couldn’t see a reason why Britain shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t be part of it.
“Let’s hope they get excited by that prospect
“It would be a real enhancement for the UK and for all the other members of the partnership.”
Senator Eric Abetz
When asked whether Britain’s entry might make it easier for a future US administration to come back to the partnership, Mr Abetz said: “That is a possibility.
“They seem to have issues with major trade agreements, they want to maintain their flexibility and independence.
“But the more we can engage the UK in world affairs, as a separate entity, the better it will be for everyone.”
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Mr Abetz has been a Senator for Tasmania since February 1994, representing the Liberal Party.
He was the Minister for Employment and the Leader of the Government in the Senate in Tony Abbott’s government from 2013 to 2015.
He also previously served as Special Minister of State in the Howard Government from 2001 to 2006 and as Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation from 2006 to 2007.