Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership: update

Department for Business and Trade written statement – made at on 11 January 2024.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Party Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)

Commencement of a period of public engagement

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is seeking views from businesses, individuals, and other interested stakeholders on the General Review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The UK signed its Accession Protocol to CPTPP on 16th July 2023, kickstarting the UK’s membership of a modern and ambitious trade deal spanning 12 economies across Asia, the Pacific, and Europe when the UK accedes. With the UK as a member, it will account for 15% of global GDP (based on 2022 data).

This comprehensive agreement will support UK businesses by making it easier for them to trade with CPTPP Parties. It will facilitate innovation and provide consumers with more choice. CPTPP could generate long-term benefits for both the UK and other CPTPP economies; supporting UK jobs and providing opportunities for growth across the UK, with all parts of the country expected to benefit. The Government is now taking the steps needed to ratify the agreement, which is expected to come into force in 2024, subject to parliamentary approval, and we are committed to ensuring Parliament has extensive time to scrutinise all aspects of the agreement.

CPTPP is designed to be a living agreement, evolving to maintain its high standards. In reflection of that, the CPTPP text mandates that the agreement should be reviewed at least every five years – this is referred to as the “General Review”. It has now been agreed amongst CPTPP members that the first General Review of the agreement will begin in 2024, and CPTPP members recently agreed the Terms of Reference for that review. While the UK is not yet a ratified member of CPTPP, we expect the review process to conclude after the UK is a ratified member and thus are ensuring that the UK is fully involved in the review process from the beginning, informed by stakeholder views.

To provide stakeholders with the opportunity to express their views, the Government will be running a period of public engagement on the General Review.

This will run for 6-weeks, with the aim of ensuring that stakeholder views are received before the review process begins. The engagement period will be open between Thursday 11 January and Thursday 22 February.

Publication of report pursuant to Section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 on the Protocol on the Accession of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Government has, today, laid before Parliament a report on the Protocol on the Accession of the UK to CPTPP (the Accession Protocol).

The report is required under Section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020, prior to the Accession Protocol being laid before Parliament for formal scrutiny under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRaG).

The Government has always been clear that we will not compromise on the UK’s high environmental protection, animal welfare, human health and food safety standards in our trade negotiations. This report, which draws on independent advice from the Trade and Agriculture Commission, the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, confirms the Government’s view that the UK’s accession to the CPTPP (via the Accession Protocol) is consistent with the maintenance of UK statutory protections in these areas.

This report is intended to inform and support scrutiny of the Accession Protocol prior to its ratification and entry into force. The Accession Protocol was signed on 16 July 2023 and will be formally laid before Parliament in due course for scrutiny under the provisions of CRaG.