Members of the trans-Pacific trade, including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, and Australia, have agreed to start the process for Britain to join the pact, as the country pursues its commerce strategy following its recent Brexit.
Last February, Britain applied to join the 11-nation deal, known as the TPP-11. It was signed in 2018 by several countries and has been lined up to become the world’s largest trade pact before Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2017.
Following a virtual meeting hosted by Japan, the members released a joint statement, sharing that they had ‘reached a decision to commence an accession process’ for Britain. The move would be ‘significant from the viewpoint of establishing a free and fair economic order’, Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura added.
Nishimura also explained that this move would help strengthen the relationship between Japan and the UK, who in October, signed their own post-Brexit trade deal, similar to the previous EU-Japan agreement.
Last year, Britain formally left the European Union after nearly five decades of membership, quitting its single market and customs union at the start of this year. Although it has replicated existing trade agreements with the bloc and many countries, Britain is yet to strike a new deal with any government.
However, London is currently in trade deal discussions with Australia, and has held early talks with India, New Zealand, and the US.