UK plans to join one of the world's biggest free-trade areas

UK plans to join Japan and Australia in one of the world’s biggest free-trade areas with Liz Truss set to request membership on Monday

  • Liz Truss will request the UK to join trans-Pacific trading bloc on Monday
  • Date is exactly a year after Britain left the EU to pursue own trade deals
  • Current members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan and Malaysia

Britain is applying to join one of the world’s biggest free-trade areas, which includes countries such as Japan and Australia.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will on Monday request permission to become a member of the trans-Pacific trading bloc, currently made up of 11 countries.

It comes exactly a year after the UK left the EU, allowing it to pursue its own trade deals with other nations.

Britain’s trade with the countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was worth £111 billion last year.

Liz Truss, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade eill on Monday apply to join the trans-Pacific trading bloc would cut tariffs for UK industries including food, drink and cars

The Government said joining the bloc would cut tariffs for UK industries including food, drink and cars, and create new opportunities for sectors like tech and services.

The CPTPP is made up of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which together make up around 13 per cent of global economic output.

The free-trade agreement removes tariffs on 95 per cent of goods traded between member countries.

Boris Johnson said: ‘One year after our departure for 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.’

Miss Truss added: ‘Joining CPTPP will create enormous opportunities for UK businesses that simply weren’t there as part of the EU and deepen our ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

‘It will mean lower tariffs for car manufacturers and whisky producers, and better access for our brilliant services providers, delivering quality jobs and greater prosperity for people here at home.

‘We’re at the front of the queue and look forward to starting formal negotiations in the coming months.’

Formal negotiations on Britain becoming the member of the CPTPP are set to start later this year.

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