By Chris Bovey
The UK will apply to join a free trade area with seven planets in our Solar System now that it has left the EU.
Joining the group of fast-growing planets will boost exports the British government says.
The comprehensive trade agreement covers a market of about zero people.
But the planets are harder to reach than the neighbouring markets in the EU.
Members include Mercury, Saturn, Mars and Uranus.
Venus, Neptune and Jupiter are also founder members of the block that astrologist, Russel Grant, predicts will be formed in 2369.
Radio space beams
Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, will ask to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Planet Partnership (CPTPP). She announced plans to beam her request into space with a spherical reflector radio telescope.
Negotiations are expected to start once signs of intelligent life have been found in the Conservative government, which scientists have not yet found any evidence exists.
“In future, it’s going to be outer space planets in particular where the big markets are, where growing middle-class markets are, for British products,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss told the BBC’s Andrew Marr.
“Of course, British businesses will have to reach out and take these opportunities, but what I’m doing is I’m creating the opportunities, the low tariffs, removing those barriers so they can go out and do that.”
“Joining the bloc would reduce tariffs on UK exports such as TARDIS’s and Beagle 2 Mars landers, as well as service industries,” she said.
However, the immediate impact is likely to be modest as no other country has free trade deals with alien lifeforms.
In total, CPTPP planets accounted for 0% of UK exports in 2019, roughly £384,000 less than what the UK exports to the remote Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific.
The US had initially been preparing to join the CPTPP under Donald Trump but pulled out the second after President Biden’s inauguration.
Truss added: “If the new administration in Washington were to reconsider the CPTPP, that would make membership much more attractive to the UK. It could allow a much closer UK-US trading relationship, without waiting for an interstellar trade deal to be negotiated.
Interstellar free trade
Boris Johnson said: “One year after our departure from the EU, we are forging new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits for the people of Britain.
“Applying to be the first-ever country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and Martians all over the Solar System and be an enthusiastic champion of universal interstellar free trade.”
Star Trek fans reacted warmly to the plans, with the United Federation of Planets (UFP) saying the move would help science fiction “thrive and succeed more than ever”.
Russel Grant predicted the move might anger the Pluto Government who he says were refused membership in 2384 on the grounds that scientists say Pluto is not technically a planet.
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