This is Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter, exclusively for Reaction subscribers.

Britain did something interesting and rather encouraging this week.

It secured approval to join the Asia-Pacific trade bloc – the CPTPP – that includes Japan, Canada and Australia following nearly two years of negotiations. The eleven countries already in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership have a combined population of 500 million. Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are members. The free trade partnership lowers trade barriers and creates opportunities for business growth, particularly in the services sector.