The Brexiters have been excited this lately, as the UK joined a free trade bloc in the Pacific region.
Britain will become the first new member, and the first in Europe, to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) since it launched in 2018.
Although the government called the agreement its “biggest trade deal since Brexit,” its own estimates show that joining the CPTPP will increase UK economic output by less than 0.1% in the long run, roughly 15 years.
“We are at our heart an open and free-trading nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak trying to boost the excited of the deal.
It comes as the UK’s membership of a Pacific trade agreement will result in more deforestation overseas, endanger animal welfare and “make a mockery” of the government’s environmental commitments, campaigners have said.
Daniela Montalto, a forest campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The UK has no safeguards in place to ensure it is not importing or financing palm oil operations that damage critical forests, peatlands, Indigenous lands and habitats for threatened species including orangutans. Cutting palm oil tariffs will only incentivise further destruction and runs completely counter to the government’s promise to embed the environment at the very heart of trade. It is beyond outrageous.”
So how has this deal been spun?
Well over at the Spectator they have decided it isn’t really about GDP (it’s a trade deal!) but something much more subtle and harder to eqaaute.
They write: “Curiously though, the trade and economic benefits which the UK might derive are likely to be pretty meagre. The real story in the UK’s additional tilt into Asia is potentially about geopolitics.”
I’m not sure about you, but I was hoping post-brexit trade deals might actually boost our economy not potentially give us wxtra sway in international diplomacy?