LEAVING the EU has allowed us to develop an independent trade policy and forge closer economic and diplomatic ties with the world’s fastest growing economies.

After 21 months of negotiations, we have signed the biggest trade deal since Brexit – becoming the first European country to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), now worth £11 trillion. With 500 million people, trade with CPTPP countries will boost our economy by billions and support thousands of new jobs.

Joining CPTPP will help to grow our economy by boosting UK exports with reduced trade barriers, cut tariffs and increased access to some of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets. More than 99 per cent of goods exports will be eligible for zero tariffs under CPTPP.

The opportunities in terms of economic growth and technological innovation are vast - spanning the Asia Pacific and Americas, CPTPP is a gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific region, which will account for more than half of global economic growth, compared to a quarter from the EU and North America combined.

Examples of how UK exporters will benefit from this deal include the lower tariffs that dairy farmers will face when exporting cheese and butter to Canada, Japan and Mexico, and a reduction in tariffs from around 80 to 0 per cent for companies exporting whisky to Malaysia. Joining CPTPP will also remove unjustified barriers for our cutting-edge digital firms, helping the UK to become a world leader in digital trade.

Our high standards in healthcare, the environment, animal welfare and food are all protected under this deal and, as a member of CPTPP, we can play a larger role in shaping global standards.

As the second largest economy in CPTPP, the UK will have a strong voice, allowing us to shape the bloc in line with our geostrategic and trade interests. We will also maintain a veto on new joiners which will allow us to make sure British businesses and interests are always protected.

This deal will benefit businesses of all sizes, in all corners of our United Kingdom and help deliver on our promise to grow the economy.

Contact me: [email protected] | www.markharper.org | House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA | @Mark_J_Harper | facebook.com/mark.harper.fod