Last reviewed 20 November 2023

On 16 July 2023, the UK Government signed an accession protocol to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The CPTPP is a free trade agreement (FTA) between 11 countries from the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas. On accession, the UK would become its first new member since the agreement was finalised in 2018 and the trading bloc’s first European member.

The Government has said the trade deal contains some of the world’s “largest and most dynamic economies”. It argues that the agreement will act as a gateway to the Indo-Pacific and Americas region and will bring new opportunities for the UK to “shape the future of international trading rules”.

Primary legislation is required for the UK to be compliant with the CPTPP when it enters into force.

The Government has accordingly introduced the Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill to implement that required legislation. The Bill will make changes to domestic law in three areas: technical barriers to trade; government procurement; and intellectual property.

The current version of the Bill can be found here. Its second reading debate is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords on 21 November 2023.

According to the impact assessment which accompanies the Bill, the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the 11 CPTPP members and the UK was around £12 trillion in 2022. It states that the wider Indo-Pacific region is expected to account for the majority (54%) of global growth between 2021 and 2050.