A roadmap for UK accession to CPTPP

On July 6th 2018, after a crucial cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s country residence, Chequers, a “future framework” was hatched regarding post-Brexit relations between the UK and EU. As part of the Government’s statement following this meeting, one particular trade agreement was singled out:

“In summary, the position we reached today would… deliver an independent trade policy – the UK would have its own seat at the WTO, be able to set tariffs for our trade with the rest of the world, and have the ability to secure trade deals with other countries – including potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

This paper seeks to assess this ambition: outlaying the content of the CPTPP agreement; the demands one can expect to be made during the accession process; and the compatibility of these demands with the currently mooted Brexit scenarios.

A roadmap for UK accession to CPTPP