Guido sees Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry is continuing her record of not understanding her brief – not least the details of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Emily has written a totally nonsensical letter to Liz Truss this week, seeking – among other things – reassurances that Britain joining the CPTPP free trade area won’t mean a trade deal with China via the back door. This is idiotic for a number of reasons:
- The point of the CPTPP is to be a bulwark to China’s ambitions in the Asia Pacific
- Why would Japan – the lead CPTPP country and a traditional opponent of China – allow China to join?
- CPTPP doesn’t allow countries in who break trade rules, such as industrial subsidies, and selling products using forced Labour – i.e. China
- Thornberry cites South Korea, who do want China to join, however aren’t members of the CPTPP – unlike Japan, who would veto both countries joining
It’s no secret that Thornberry lacks basic understanding of policy on China. As shadow foreign secretary while running for party leader she was asked about her policies towards the country, replying “I don’t know… I don’t think I’m going to sit here and bullshit you”
It seems she’s now u-turned on her policy of not bullshitting, though isn’t proving hugely competent at it…
Read Thornberry’s letter in full: