UK minister hopes Britain will join CPTPP free trade pact soon

Britain's Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific has expressed hope that her country will join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, free trade pact, in the near future.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan spoke in an interview with NHK in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Britain has already applied for CPTPP membership. Trevelyan said, "We are very excited about the prospect of becoming a member, I hope, in the relatively near future."

She said the CPTPP area would be "a really important market to join," and Britain would bring "a breadth of trading opportunities" and "all sorts of innovation alongside economic and wider digital opportunities."
Trevelyan added that the Indo-Pacific region is "absolutely critical to the UK's future economic interests," noting that the region makes up nearly 60 percent of the world's trade.

She said that Britain wants to work alongside countries that believe in free trade and in the value of democracy.

Trevelyan also touched on the signing earlier this month of the Japan-UK Reciprocal Access Agreement, which stipulates procedures for organizing joint exercises and other activities between Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the British military.

Trevelyan said it was "a really good step forward."

With regard to the war in Ukraine, she said, "Japan has been an incredibly strong voice, standing firmly as a member of G7 and more widely against Russia's illegal invasion."

She said her country will continue to stand against the Russian aggression and reiterated Britain's intention to boost security cooperation with Japan.