The business and trade secretary, Kemi Badenoch, signed the accession protocol to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) yesterday.

This is designed to bring British businesses a step closer to being able to sell to a major Indo-Pacific trade bloc.

Britain is the first new member to join the bloc - comprising Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - since its formation in 2018.

The UK is also the first European nation to gain entry and represents Britain's biggest trade deal since Brexit, with the intention of cutting tariffs for UK exporters to a group of nations which - with UK accession – is set to have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of £12trn, accounting for 15% of global GDP, according to officials. It is believed to come into force in the second half of 2024, at which point the UK will become a voting member of the bloc.

The hope is that this will be a big boost for British businesses and deliver substantial revenue in additional trade, as well as open up significant opportunities and access to a market of over 500 million people.