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The UK will formally apply to join a huge free trade pact including Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, under the government’s post-Brexit plans, Sky News reports.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will use a conversation with ministers in Japan and New Zealand on Monday to request membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Announcing the move on the anniversary of Britain’s formal departure from the EU, her department said negotiations were expected to start later this year.
Joining the CPTPP will cut tariffs in trading with the group’s 11 members, which also include Mexico and Vietnam.
The Department for International Trade said UK trade with the member countries last year was worth £111 billion.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “One year after our departure from the EU we are forging new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits for the people of Britain.
“Applying to be the first new country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and partners all over the world and be an enthusiastic champion of global free trade.”