In under two years, we have agreed trade deals covering 63 countries plus the EU, accounting for £885 billion of UK trade. This is unprecedented; no other country has ever negotiated so many trade deals simultaneously. In 2021, we will add to these deals: negotiations are already under way with the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and our planned accession to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership will hitch Britain to the fastest-growing markets around the world.
Accession to the CPTPP is a priority for this Government and a key part of our trade negotiation programme. We aim to make our formal notification of our intent to accede soon. This agreement will give huge opportunities for British business to export more goods. We already export more goods to the CPTPP countries than to China. For example, 95% of goods are tariff-free under the agreement, and the strong data and digital provisions will really help British tech firms.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), is running the Brexit business taskforce to ensure that the additional processes required of businesses are clear and to give businesses the support they need to be able to trade in the new environment.
No one in this House has done more than my hon Friend to champion the English language sector under the pressures of covid. I congratulate her on today’s question and on the debate that she led in, I think, July, to which I had the honour of replying.
We are determined to champion the interests of the English language sector. That is why it is a key member of the education sector advisory group, which I co-chair with my hon. Friend the Minister for Universities. We are determined across Government to ensure that it can access Government schemes for support. My hon. Friend is also right to say that we should look ahead, and that is why we have produced an enterprise management incentive suppliers catalogue for China and are working to replicate that for growing markets such as Indonesia and Brazil. We have to help those businesses to survive today, and we have to put in place support for the future so that they can grow once again and be such an important part of our education sector and, indeed, our wider cultural offer to the world.
The trade deals that we have secured are worth £885 billion of trade. What trade means is jobs. It means opportunities for firms to export abroad. It means strong supply chains for businesses across the United Kingdom. The FTAs that we have secured mean that UK traders will continue to enjoy preferential access to trade that covers 63% of UK trade. In the case of our deal with Japan, that deal goes further and faster, and that will bring more benefits to our tech companies, to our food and drink industry and, of course, to our fantastic creative industry.
This has attracted some attention. I would remind the hon. Member that he voted for no deal on 30 December. I would also refer him to the article written by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the New Musical Express this week, in which he said that the EU offer on this unfortunately fell short of the UK’s proposals and would not have enabled touring by musicians. He said:
“The UK pushed for a more ambitious agreement with the EU on the temporary movement of business travellers, which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU”.
I thank my hon. Friend for that question. He is a great champion of business in his constituency, and I can tell him that the deals with Canada and Mexico give vital certainty to businesses across the midlands, which export goods and services worth about £15 billion, in key sectors such as automotive, manufacturing and food and drink. I know that these opportunities, and new ones, will be taken up by businesses—manufacturers and others—on the Holmewood business park in Shirebrook and across the Bolsover constituency.
I observe to the hon. Gentleman that Japan has data adequacy with the EU and it is also part of the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership, which has a strong digital and data chapter. So it is absolutely reasonable that we should be able to have both and be successful.
My hon. Friend is right to advocate so passionately on behalf of his constituents, particularly those who need that opportunity and that levelling up. This is precisely what the levelling-up agenda and the freeport programme are about, and we are determined that the benefits of our free trade agenda should be shared right across the country, including in Ipswich. Freeports will attract new investors and drive trade and exports, all of which will help to regenerate communities across the UK, through high-skilled jobs and new infrastructure. It is so important that we work together as a House to champion business and jobs. Forget there being a division in the Labour party, its Front-Bench International Trade team could not—
Order, Mr Stuart. This questions session has not been good, because I am beginning to worry that we have very good answers to those on one side of the Chamber but the answers to those on the other mean that they are not getting the respect they deserve. In fact, on one occasion we had, “No, it is not our responsibility”, but then suddenly when another Member asked, we had, “It is our responsibility”. I want us to be concise in our treatment and the way we deal with all Members of this House. They are representing constituencies, and I expect them to get full and thorough answers, and not the political games, on all sides, that seem to be being played.
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question—he is right to raise issues on behalf of small businesses in his constituency. The Government are in constant dialogue with business representative organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, for example at the Brexit business taskforce chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Government have of course provided an enormous amount of funding to make sure that businesses are ready for the end of the transition period.
Since we left the EU a year ago, no bureaucrats will ratify our trade agreements. The ratification of future free trade agreements will take place only once this Parliament has had the opportunity to scrutinise the detail of any trade deal and any necessary implementing legislation. We believe that our system of parliamentary scrutiny compares favourably with that of other Westminster-style democracies such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Our chemicals industry is extremely important and we are well aware of the issues in the industry with all its trade partners. I remind the hon. Gentleman that the EU deal is the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, but I am sure that the chemicals industry will make its voice heard at the Brexit business taskforce. The Government stand ready to assist the industry, which, as the hon. Gentleman rightly says, is vital for our future prosperity.
We are working very hard to de-escalate that tariff conflict and reach a negotiated settlement. I have been in discussions with the US and the EU and I will take up the matter on an urgent basis when the new US trade representative is confirmed in due course.
I thank my hon. Friend for his question. We are all well aware of the important role that Milton Keynes plays in technology innovation, electric vehicles and other transport technologies in particular, as well as other areas. That is why the UK is seeking to minimise the barriers to digital trade in particular, going further in the UK-Japan deal. We want to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of global dialogue on policy issues, for example, at the World Trade Organisation.