The United Kingdom finally withdrew from the European customs union more than four years after originally voting for it, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is rushing to join another trade bloc with no vote and no public discussion.
Reuters exclusively reported this morning that Johnson's government is planning to submit an application to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was originally spearheaded by the Obama administration.
Johnson's desire to join the pacific trade bloc has been known for some time, but today's stink is that he's applying to join it without concluding or publishing a study of what the consequences of joining could be.
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will submit a request to join a trans-Pacific trading bloc grouping 11 countries before it has published an assessment of the benefits of membership, British officials told Reuters. [...]
The main opposition Labour Party said the decision to join the bloc was too important to be pushed through without voters' knowledge or consent.
"The government is rushing into the process of joining the CPTPP with no public mandate, and barely any proper discussion with business or civil society," Labour's trade policy chief, Emily Thornberry, told Reuters.
I was still in bed this morning when I pulled up my phone and saw the news to which I loudly cackled.
The same forces aligned against the European Union and the Trans Pacific Partnership during the Obama years and now Johnson wants the join the latter as quickly as he possibly can to make up for leaving the former.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as it's now known, is not the bad deal its opponents made it out to be, but it's economically inferior to membership in the European Union. Moreover, rhetoric deployed against both trading blocs has been nearly identical.
To me, this confirms more than most other things that leaving the European Union was mostly driven by opposition to the free movement of people, not goods or services. It was driven by racism, not the free flow of French wine. Membership in the Trans Pacific Partnership will not include free movement of labor and humans with brown skin.