Following the UK’s signing of the Indo-Pacific agreement, Starmer has urged for a “tighter trading bond with the EU.”

During his visit to Plymouth, Sir Keir Starmer commented on the UK’s recent signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), stating that he welcomed any new trade deal but believed it was more important to establish a “closer trading relationship with the EU”.

Although acknowledging the benefits of the CPTPP pact, Sir Keir argued that the economic impact on the UK would be minimal, contributing approximately 0.08% to the economy.

He suggested that a stronger trade bond with the EU was necessary to help British businesses grow and overcome the current cost-of-living crisis. The CPTPP agreement aims to reduce tariffs for UK exporters to a group of 11 countries, bringing the total GDP of the bloc to £11 trillion.

After two years of negotiations, the British government announced on Friday that it had formally agreed to become the 12th member of the CPTPP. The other eight members are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Once the UK becomes a member, the free-trade bloc, with a population of 500 million, is estimated to represent 15% of the global GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In a statement, Sunak expressed his belief that joining the CPTPP would position the UK at the core of a growing and dynamic group of Pacific economies. The UK will be the first European country and first new member to join, promising “real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms.”

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