The government’s announcement that it will apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has caused celebration in those parts of the UK best placed to seize all the opportunities of seamless trade with their close neighbours in Malaysia and Peru.
In Halthamstow-on-Padungan, a tranquil English village overlooking the border with Sarawak, local mayor Simon Williams was keen to argue the evident wisdom of free trade crisscrossing the Pacific.
“It makes perfect sense geographically speaking. Being able to trade with no tariffs or paperwork with our immediate neighbours, like New Zealand, is an incredible boost to SME’s in our area.
“We make lovely cream tea sets here but it’s always been such a burden of paperwork to organise next day delivery in Japan.
“But soon, Mrs Koyuki from Yokohama will be able to put in an order in the morning and we’ll put her scones and jam on a local lad’s bike so she can tuck in by dinnertime.
“After all, why else would we not have done it before? I’ve always felt connected by history and culture to Valparaiso and Hoi An, so I’m delighted we’ll be as close economically as we are geographically.”
Although celebrated in non-existent English towns and the boardrooms of American HMO’s wanting a piece of the NHS, some critics have suggested the move was an attempt to palliate the deficiencies of the Brexit deal that are becoming more apparent each day. An accusation fiercely denied by the FCO.
A spokesperson told us, “This application was done in the honest belief that Acapulco is as close to us physically and economically as Boulogne is.
“I think you will agree that Dominic Raab’s stunning ignorance of basic geography has been comprehensively established.”