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Unshackled from EU, today England starts £9 TRILLION free trade pact


A year after leaving the European Union, and only a month after leaving the transition period, the UK is showing its full potential.

We are lighting the spark for a strong economic boom, bringing well-paid jobs and economic growth to every region and nation of the United Kingdom. We have used our independent trade policy to negotiate deals covering 63 countries around the world plus the EU, and there is more to come. 

Today, the UK will kick off the process of joining one of the most dynamic trading areas on Earth: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

This massive free trade area offers our brilliant British businesses new economic benefits, but does not require us to give up control of our laws, borders and money.

CPTPP's 11 members are fully sovereign nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. So, we will not be subject to diktats from any foreign court and will keep control of our trade policy.

We will enjoy tariff-free trade on 95% of our goods like Johnnie Walker whisky and Aston Martin cars, better market access for services, and modern rules for digital innovators like Revolut.

We will have deeper access to fast-growing markets worth nearly £9 trillion, without having to pay any membership fees. This club is purely about free trade, unlike what we had in the past.

CPTPP members range from Japan, one of the world's largest economies, to Vietnam, one of its fastest growing economies.

These Pacific nations are rising up the global economy league table. As they get richer, their consumers will have more money to spend on British products. They know rightly that anything with the UK flag can only be the best, and great value thanks to lower tariffs.

What Britain has to offer is in demand worldwide, from our vaccines to our cutting-edge technology. The UK is the world’s second biggest services exporter and Europe’s top destination for tech investment.

Our music dominates the charts, with one in ten songs streamed globally made by a British artist. The world craves British food and drink, with Cornish clotted cream dressing tables in Tokyo, and Yorkshire Tea drunk in New Zealand.

Their appetite for the best of British means more business for our go-getters across the country – whether it those making computer games in Newcastle, or robotics in Blyth.

That means more money for British businesses to employ people, invest in their operations and grow.

Now we are no longer held back by the EU, we have the freedom to go further and faster to support our job creators. That is why we are seizing opportunities available to us only as an independent trading nation.

In the world of global trade, CPTPP is the place to be. It is no surprise that countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Colombia have been queuing up to join.

We will negotiate in the interests of the British people and businesses across the UK, just as we do for all our trade deals. Our red lines remain the same: the NHS - and the price it pays for drugs - stays off the table. Our standards – from food and animal welfare to the environment and labour rights - are not up for grabs.

CPTPP is an exclusive club, but one that has made clear it is always open to new members. More nations will no doubt join the queue, and my hope is that Britain joining will encourage other like-minded allies to follow us in.

By striking deals with dynamic markets worldwide, we are unleashing our full potential as an independent trading nation.