Britain interested in joining TPP trade deal after Brexit

Dr Fox, the International Trade Secretary, said: "We would be foolish to rule anything out".

The trade group is struggling to get going after losing its largest member - the United States - when President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement a year ago.

Other TPP members include Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

"Nothing is excluded in all of this", U.K. Trade Minister Greg Hands told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday.

'Nothing is excluded in all of this, ' he said.

She added: "We have set up 14 trade "working groups" across 21 countries to explore the best ways of progressing our trade and investment relationships across the world".

However, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who is now on a visit to China, hinted the reports were "rather overblown" and that there was little indication of what the reconstituted TPP would look like.

Britain's involvement could give TPP a boost after it was weakened when President Trump withdrew the U.S. in January 2017.

However, news of London reportedly entering negotiations with the group has been met with skepticism from trade experts.

Dearden says at the moment, MPs have no power to stop these "extreme plans", which "the British people have had no discussion about".

The UK's trade relationship with TPP countries pales in comparison to its existing ones with fellow European Union members or the US.

Andrew Sentance, a former member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, tweeted: "If the United Kingdom was located 6,000 miles to the east, joining TPP might make sense. The TPP covers not just trading goods but also intellectually property and starts dealing with IT and would be a very positive step for world trade". The idea is to create a new single market not dissimilar to the EU. The existing members have gone to a great deal of trouble to get this deal to where it is. The US accounted for 65% of the total GDP of the original TPP members.

The Communication Workers of America union claimed the deal would be a "complete disaster" as it could incentivise corporations to move service sector jobs to lower-wage economies such as Vietnam.

The EU is now Britain's biggest trading partner, followed by the USA and China.

Barry Gardiner, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, said: "It is not the main event, and at the moment the government is making a hash of that".

Tim Farron, the former Liberal Democrat leader, said: "This smacks of desperation. It's all pie in sky thinking".

But Labour criticised the interest in TPP and urged ministers to look closer to home and focus on the "key future trading agreement" with the EU.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the government would match these so-called Basic Payment Scheme funds for "a number of years" beyond a two-year transition meant to ease Britain's withdrawal.

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