On 2 June 2021, the UK government announced that the CPTPP nations had agreed to the UK’s bid to begin the accession process to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), covering 500 million people.

The announcement said the UK will continue to work closely with Japan, as this year’s chair of the CPTPP commission, alongside the other CPTPP nations to progress negotiations as quickly as possible, as UK accession could cut tariffs in vital UK industries like food and drink and the automotive sector, as well as creating new opportunities in areas like digital, data, and across services.

The government will publish its outline approach, scoping assessment and consultation response before negotiations start in the coming weeks.