Brexit triumph as accession letter to CPTPP to be sent 'within months' – Express

Credit: Original article can be found here

Brexit: Liz Truss discusses benefits of UK joining the CPTPP

For the last 48 years, EU membership constricted Britain’s ability to make its own decisions and set policies. However, on January 1, the country finally put an end to eurosceptic frustration, regaining its independence. The transition period came to an end, opening a new chapter for British national history that will hopefully see the return of a “global free-trading nation”.

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss spent most of 2020 negotiating trade deals with several countries around the world.

In December came agreements with Canada, Kenya, Singapore, Vietnam, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, to make a combined total of over 50 such deals, including Japan, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and Switzerland.

As Ms Truss said, though, some of these agreements were “part of a much wider strategic investment for the UK”, taking Britain a step closer to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a regional trade deal.

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.

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Brexit triumph as accession letter to CPTPP to be sent ‘within months’ (Image: GETTY)

It covers nearly 14 percent of the global economy and it was the centrepiece of President Barack Obama’s strategic pivot to Asia.

US participation was immediately scrapped by President Donald Trump on his third day in office but with Democrat Joe Biden soon replacing him at the White House, things might change.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Government adviser Shanker Singham claimed Britain will send its accession letter within months.

Mr Singham, the CEO of economic consultancy Competere, said: “The UK will certainly join.

“We expect to have our accession letter very shortly with the New Zealand depositary.”

When asked when exactly that will be, Mr Singham said: “As soon as it can be done.

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss (Image: GETTY)

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UK trade deals (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

“I am thinking very early 2021.

“But that’s the letter, which is the first step of the process.”

However, according to the trade expert, Britain should not worry about the forthcoming negotiations, as the CPTPP members are desperate for London to join.

He said: “I know the Japanese, Australians, Singaporeans… they all want the UK to accede and so do the Canadians and Mexicans.

“They are all desperate for it.”

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Government adviser Shanker Singham (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

Echoing Mr Singham’s claims, Australian Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz told Express.co.uk there is no reason why Britain could not join the CPTPP in the immediate future.

He said: “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.”

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Senator Eric Abetz (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

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President-elect Joe Biden (Image: GETTY)

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.”

According to Mr Singham, US participation will not happen until at least 2023.

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