In the early hours of this morning, Kemi Badenoch announced the UK had joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a large Indo-Pacific trading bloc including Canada, Japan, Australia and Mexico. The move is intended to boost trade and strengthen UK influence in the context of an increasingly present Chinese threat. It will boost the UK economy by a stonking £1.8 billion – and that’s only set to grow.
In her video announcement, Kemi Badenoch thanked other trade ministers who had worked on the deal. Guido notes that Kemi failed to mention one Trade Secretary in post over the course of the 21-month negotiating period. A certain Liz Truss…
In a statement released this morning, the Prime Minister welcomed the move:
“We are at our heart an open and free-trading nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms. As part of CPTPP, the UK is now in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation.”
Guido struggles to find much to dislike about the deal. Though the remain-obsessed establishment will no doubt find something to charge against – “pro-trade” Labour have already raised concerns “including on consumer safety, food safety, data protection and environmental protections”. It’s been a good 24 hours for Kemi, who also won re-selection last night. Crack open the sake.