‘Brexit could no longer be reversed’ as UK to join bloc, says expert

CPTPP would benefit from UK involvement claims trade expert

Brexit can no longer be reversed, a former trade adviser has warned as Britain becomes the first nation to join an Indo-Pacific trade blocl.

Brexiteer Shanker Singham, who is chief executive of Competere and an academic fellow to the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the trade deal is a “huge event” for the UK and a “triumph” for negotiators.

Mr Sanham wrote in the Telegraph when the trade partnership was originally proposed, there were “howls of derision.”

Britain is set to enter the Indo-Pacific trade bloc tomorrow in an historic event joining 11 Pacific region nations.

It will become a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The negotiations are now “done”, and it has been confirmed that Britain’s accession to CPTPP is “all agreed [and] confirmed”.

He described it as a bulwark against Chinese market distortions damage the global economy.

The CPTPP accounts for 13 percent of global GDP as well as 15 percent global trade, according to former BBC host Andrew Neil.

The trade bloc amounts to a $10trillion market.

Welcoming the news, Mr Singham wrote a column in the Telegraph, outlining his belief that the move will mean the UK won’t “be able to rejoin the EU customs union”.

He wrote: “Accession to the partnership would be a huge event for Brexit Britain and would not have been possible inside the European Union. Accession would mean that the UK would not be able to rejoin the EU customs union.”

“Accession would be a huge triumph for UK negotiators, and for the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Business and International Trade in particular.

“It would mark the point at which Brexit could not be reversed.

“But there are even more important reasons why this is such an important global event that goes well beyond the narrow economic benefits for the UK.


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“For the first time, a major G7 country has chosen to accede to a regional grouping not because it is part of that region but rather because the agreement represents the most advanced and deeply liberalising agreement based on mutual recognition, equivalence and adequacy.”

Britain is the first new nation to join the bloc since it was set up in 2018.

Its existing 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Canada.

Britain’s accession means it has met the high standards of the deal’s market access requirements and that it will align with the bloc’s sanitary and phytosanitary standards as well as provisions like investor-state dispute settlement.

Earlier this month, the resolution of a dispute between the UK and Canada regarding agricultural market access reportedly paved the way for the UK to join the agreement.

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