Instrument of Accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Department for Business and Trade written statement – made am ar 17 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

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

Today the UK officially announced the deposit of its instrument of accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With this significant moment the UK has moved a vital step closer to acceding to one of the largest free trade areas in the world. CPTPP currently accounts for almost 12% of global GDP, and when the UK becomes a full party to the agreement, this will increase to almost 15% of GDP, or over £12 trillion (according to 2023 data).

The UK will be the first country to accede to CPTPP and will be the first European member. Our accession will place us at the heart of the Indo-Pacific, a region that will be crucial both economically and strategically in the coming decades. It will also mean we are well placed to benefit from any future changes to the rules of the agreement, and from any future expansion of the agreement, on which the UK will have a full say.

Through CPTPP, we will have free trade deals with Malaysia and Brunei for the first time – economies with a combined GDP of over £340bn in 2023. We will also see gains over and above a number of the bilateral agreements that we already have with CPTPP Parties, bringing new market access opportunities for UK businesses. Overall, our accession to the agreement could boost UK GDP by around £2 billion each and every year in the long run when compared to projected GDP in 2040, and is expected to benefit every nation and region in the UK.

Our accession will also ensure appropriate protections for UK interests. We have agreed quotas which permanently limit annual additional imports from major producers of the most sensitive agricultural products, and we have ensured that CPTPP preserves the UK's right to regulate to protect human, animal and plant life and health. All food and drink products imported into the UK will still have to meet the respective food safety and biosecurity standards for the UK. Likewise, in acceding to CPTPP we will not be changing any of our high domestic standards of environmental protection or our labour standards. We have also ensured protections for key public services, including the NHS.

The UK has now completed the key processes required to join the CPTPP. As well as the UK’s own processes, the other CPTPP Parties need to complete their own respective applicable legal processes for entry into force of the Protocol. CPTPP Parties have different domestic procedures and scrutiny obligations to complete, which vary depending on the country.

The Accession Protocol sets out that the agreement will enter into force for the UK 60 days after all Parties and the UK have each notified the CPTPP Depositary. Notification would follow the completion of relevant domestic procedures. After 15 months have passed since signature (which falls in October 2024), the mechanism changes and the Protocol can enter into force 60 days after a minimum of 6 Parties and the UK have each notified. If at least 6 Parties and the UK have already notified within 15 months of signature, entry into force would take place 60 days after the October date. We therefore expect that the UK’s accession should enter into force by the end of 2024.

Japan, Singapore and Chile have already completed their respective applicable legal processes for entry into force of the Protocol, and we welcome the support of every Party so that all our businesses and consumers can reap the rewards of the UK joining the deal as soon as possible