Brexit: UK looks to secure trans-Pacific trade deal


Nick Dearden, the director of campaign group Global Justice Now, told RT that Britain joining the TPP would mean "giving big business the power to sue our government in special corporate courts ... higher intellectual property provisions to meet the wildest dreams of the big pharmaceutical corporations, and it would mean locking in privatization of public services." .

Britain is exploring the possibility of joining a trans-Pacific trade bloc after Brexit in a bid to find alternative markets for exports that now go to Europe, it has emerged.

The U.K. has reportedly had informal talks about joining the Pacific Rim trade deal that the 11 remaining member nations have been trying to resuscitate since the USA departure last January. Britain would be the first participant that borders neither the Pacific Ocean nor the South China Sea.

"In these multilateral relations, there should be no geographical constraints", said Greg Hands.

Although EU leaders have agreed to hold direct trade talks with Britain during the Brexit transition period, experts expect some squabbling along the way as each EU country wants different things from the trade talks which are scheduled to kick off in March.

The TPP has so far involved only countries around the Pacific Rim such as Japan, Canada and Mexico.

In November 2017, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said that a revised agreement between the 11 remaining signatories was "90 percent completed".

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In a column for conservative website Conservative Home, the secretary of state for worldwide trade argued that perceptions of Brexit in Britain are at odds with what he is seeing overseas and that it presents a new opportunity for British trade and investment.

A Department for International Trade spokeswoman added: "We have set up 14 trade working groups across 21 countries to explore the best ways of progressing our trade and investment relationships across the world".

Then China joined talks to join the TPP shortly after the United States dropped out, and has been working with other potential member nations on a restyled version of the deal.

Labour MP and Open Britain supporter Chuka Umunna says new trade deals "would not come close to making up for lost trade with the European Union after a hard Brexit".

Barry Gardiner, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, said: "It is not the main event, and at the moment the government is making a hash of that".

Those include the TPP having not yet been ratified and the considerable uncertainty over the UK's final deal with the EU.

Britain is said to be drawing up plans to join a trade group based on the other side of the world after Brexit.