Reports of UK joining TPP ridiculed
10 January 2018: As the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (now rebranded the ‘Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership’) struggle to reach agreement, some strange reports are appearing in the media.
The Financial Times has reported that the Department for International Trade in the UK has held informal talks about joining the TPP. The UK cannot sign trade deals until it leaves the EU after Brexit, in March 2019.
The idea has been instantly and widely ridiculed. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said joining the TPP would be ‘scraping the bottom of the Brexit barrel’. She said, ‘Trade unions around the world have opposed this deal because it allows labour abuses, it puts public services at risk and it gives too much control to corporations’.
UK Labour’s shadow trade secretary said ‘Of course [TPP] could be helpful but it is not the main event, and at the moment the government is making a hash of that’. He questioned why the Department for International Trade was discussing joining the TPP when the current members of the TPP account for 8% of British exports.