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Let’s be Pacific! UK in new trade talks

BRITAIN could join a Pacific trade group after leaving the European Union.

The government has held informal talks on becoming a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to stimulate exports following Brexit, the Financial Times has claimed.

Britain would be the first member of the trade agreement not to border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea.

The Department for International Trade headed by Liam Fox (pictured) is said to be developing proposals to join the group which lost its largest member — the United States — when president Donald Trump withdrew last year. The 11 remaining members include Australia, Singapore and Canada.

Trade minister Greg Hands told the Financial Times there was no geographical restriction on Britain joining trade groups.

‘Nothing is excluded in all of this,’ he said. ‘With these kind of plurilateral relationships, there doesn’t have to be any geographical restriction.’

An international trade spokeswoman said it was ‘early days’ but 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.’