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Brexit.app is pleased to note that the Department of International Trade of the United Kingdom Government has launched a Consultation (CPTPP) on the UK potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) post Brexit

Closes 26 Oct 2018

Opened 20 Jul 2018


The UK is preparing for an independent trade policy once we leave the EU. We want to maximise our trade opportunities globally and across all countries – both by boosting our trading relationships with old friends and new allies, and by seeking a deep and special partnership with the EU. The UK aims to pursue an ambitious bilateral trade agenda, taking full advantage of the flexibility provided by our proposal for the future economic partnership (as set out in the White Paper on The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union’ on 12 July).

As part of this the UK will have the opportunity to negotiate, sign, and ratify Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) during the implementation period and to bring them into force from January 2021.

In this context, the UK will potentially seek accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

These agreements could enable increased trade and investment, secure access for UK exporters to the key markets of today and the future, give consumers access to a greater range of products at lower prices, and make the UK more innovative, competitive and prosperous.

Trade agreements aim to reduce trade barriers between countries. Barriers can be taxes charged on goods as they cross borders (tariffs), or different rules and regulations that can add to trade costs (non-tariff measures). Trade and investment barriers make it more difficult and costly to trade or invest overseas. Reducing these barriers can help the flow of goods, services and money for investment between countries, and help businesses to access markets they previously weren’t able to. Consumers can benefit from access to a greater variety of products at lower prices.

Trade agreements do not prevent governments from regulating as they see fit, and they also do not require governments to privatise any services. The UK Government is committed to maintaining our high standards for consumers, workers and the environment, and to protecting our public services, in any future trade agreements that we conclude.

Trade agreements also have wider benefits. These can include:

  • Boosting economic growth in the UK by encouraging more competition, investment and innovation.
  • Contributing to global prosperity, by boosting economic growth in countries that the UK does business with through international supply chains.
  • Increased global prosperity supports social cohesion within and between countries, and in turn political stability, which is one of the building blocks of our collective security.
  • Some trade agreements can particularly benefit developing countries – trade can be a vital tool in boosting developing countries’ economic growth and reducing poverty, while also providing UK consumers and businesses with goods at competitive prices.
  • Trade is also an instrument of foreign policy and some countries use trade policy (including trade agreements) to advance standards and values.

The Department for International Trade is preparing for possible negotiations as the UK Government considers seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) after the UK leaves the EU on the 29th March 2019. The UK Government is consulting with members of the public, businesses, trade experts, and any other interested organisations to help inform this work.

This initial consultation will inform our overall approach to our future trade relationship with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). If we launch formal negotiations to accede to the CPTPP, we will also engage on specific issues as negotiations progress.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is a signed, but not yet in force, trade agreement between 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). It is an ambitious and relatively deep trade deal with a bloc of countries representing 13-14% of the global economy and covering 500m people. Trade with CPTPP member countries covers approximately 7% of UK trade.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comprises a 30-chapter text, with core provisions and annexes setting out any carve-outs to the core provisions negotiated by founding members. CPTPP accession could deliver a range of economic and strategic benefits for the UK. It has the potential to expand in the future, potentially bringing in many more countries from the Asia-Pacific region in the long term. For CPTPP accession, the UK would need to enter into discussions with representatives from countries who are part of CPTPP, setting out its own detailed commitments to all CPTPP members (as listed above).

Any decision for the UK to seek accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would aim to build on our existing trade and investment relationships with the countries that are parties to that agreement, benefiting all of our economies – whilst ensuring that we meet our international obligations and maintain our high standards of consumer, labour, animal and environmental protection.

The UK Government has published an information pack to be read in conjunction with this consultation: Information note on CPTPP

As well as setting out the rationale for free trade agreements and the provisions they typically cover, this pack gives an overview of trade and investment between the UK and the current membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The full text of the CPTPP is also publicly available, and a link to it is provided below: 


Please note, this consultation will close at 23:59 on 26 October 2018.

Containing Public Sector Information licenced under the Open Government Licence V3.0

Gov.UK reported the consultation in a speech given on 18th July 2018 by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, the salient features which were as follows.

“In a speech to business and civil society leaders hosted by the FSB today (18 July 2018), International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox is set to announce 4 public consultations ahead of post-Brexit trade negotiations.

The consultations demonstrate the UK’s intention to seek free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the UK potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The consultations, which will be released to the public shortly, will cover these prospective new trade agreements signalling the UK’s immediate negotiating priorities as soon as it leaves the EU, in line with the terms of the draft Withdrawal Agreement and in light of the government’s White Paper on the future relationship between the UK and EU.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

For the first time in over 40 years we will be able to determine who we trade with, and on what terms.

That doesn’t just mean new trade agreements with key partners like the USA, Australia and New Zealand, revitalising our existing trade. It also means putting the UK at the heart of the world’s fastest growing regions with agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I want everyone to have their say, to make sure our future trade policy works for the whole of the UK. Trade affects us all and I urge anyone with an interest to take part in these consultations.

The launch of public consultations follows Dr Fox’s statement to Parliament on Monday, where he set out the government’s approach to a transparent and inclusive UK trade policy which takes in the views of MPs, devolved governments, businesses, civil society groups and consumers.

If the UK were to join CPTPP, it would be the second largest economy in the group, and CPTPP’s coverage of global GDP would increase to around 17%.

The agreement reduces 95% of tariffs along with other barriers to trade among its 11 members, including Canada, Japan and Singapore.

The 11 existing members of CPTPP accounted for £82 billion of UK trade in 2016, more than the Netherlands, France or China. The economies of existing members are diverse, spanning a region which is a driving force of global economic growth. Many, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore have been growing substantially over the last 5 years, growth which the IMFprojects will continue in the near future.

The US is the UK’s single largest trading partner, accounting for £100 billion of UK annual exports and supporting millions of UK jobs.

UK exports to Australia and New Zealand, 2 of the UK’s closest allies, are growing at 14.8% and 16.8% respectively, a faster pace than our global average and far outstripping export growth to the EU.

Hosting the speech, FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry said:

Small businesses will welcome the opportunity to input into the consultations announced today. Getting the institutional apparatus right is essential and strong small business representation on the newly announced Strategic Trade Advisory Group is a hugely important step in the right direction.

As the largest business group in the UK, FSB knows that the detail of trading arrangements matters hugely to the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses, and that it’s crucial small businesses are in the room when these conversations take place. Helping make sure more small businesses can export more is vital to the future growth and productivity of the UK economy.”

Wikipedia has the following information on the CTCPP

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Type Trade agreement
Signed 8 March 2018
Location SantiagoChile
Sealed 23 January 2018
Effective Not in force
Condition 60 days after ratification by 50% of the signatories, or after six signatories have ratified
  • 3
  • Mexico (28 June 2018)
  • Japan (6 July 2018)
  • Singapore (19 July 2018)
Depositary New Zealand
Languages English (prevailing in the case of conflict or divergence), Spanishand French

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP11 is a signed, but not-yet ratified, trade  agreement  between  AustraliaBruneiCanadaChileJapanMalaysiaMexicoNew ZealandPeruSingapore and Vietnam. The eleven countries represent 13.4 percent of the global gross domestic product or $13.5 trillion, making this one of the largest trade agreements after the North American Free Trade Agreement