We are reaching a seminal moment in the UK’s global trading renaissance: the announcement of the terms of a Free Trade Agreement with Japan, the first with a major international trading nation. It will inevitably become a template for future such agreements, as will the broader framework into which it fits, across the total spectrum of international affairs, financial, political, cultural, diplomatic and defence associated.
Indeed it would be a fundamental Brexit opportunity forgone, should their strategic setting not provide strong and lasting links and overlaps with developing regional partnerships such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proposed in the Indo-Pacific region, the Quad security coalition (US, India, Japan, Australia), working not only with Japan, but with the key Anglosphere nations such the UK’s 5 Eyes intelligence collaborators, the US, Canada, India and Australia..
The recently published Foundation for Independence paper on the future role of an independent UK in the IndoPacific region clearly demonstrates the broadly based, complex and sophisticated tone and approach needed for similar arrangements, optimising the use of all the UK’s relevant and diverse assets, and demonstrating a clear path to reduce dependence on trade with China.
Britain exerts global leadership in so many areas of soft power, not least across the Anglosphere and Commonwealth, in education, research and think tanks, in the arts,