Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown congratulates the Government on progress on negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as it presents an enormous opportunity to propel UK exports into a very high growth area of the world in the Pacific Rim.
14. What progress her Department has made on securing UK membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. (905866)
On 18 February, Japan announced that the UK can move to market access negotiations, the next phase of the accession process. We aim to have concluded negotiations by the end of this year.
My right hon. Friend and her Department are to be massively congratulated on having got to the final stages of the CPTPP agreement. It is a market worth £8.4 trillion. Does she agree that it presents an enormous opportunity to propel our exports into a very high growth area of the world in the Pacific Rim and that it will have particular implications for certain sectors such as food and drink and financial services?
I thank my hon. Friend for his kind remarks. There are indeed many people across the Department and our network around the world who are to be congratulated on getting us this far. He is right: there are massive benefits in market opportunities, but the deal will also have a disproportionately positive effect on sectors here that have high wages. That will really help in creating jobs with above average wages. We will work very hard to ensure that we can realise those opportunities in the shortest possible time.