For London, this partnership is an important pillar of its concept of `global Britain` and in particular its new `propensity for Indo-Pacific space`, which is likely to be presented in the next integrated review. Membership of the TPP is high on the government`s agenda and is expected to begin a formal accession process in 2021. The imminent dispatch of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Asia-Pacific region is also part of this picture, indicating that London wants to strengthen not only its economic profile, but also its political and security profile in the world and rebalance its external relations. The creation of a reciprocal trade agreement puts the EU at the forefront of how to reconcile the ACP Group`s special status with the EU`s WTO commitments. The near-solution solution to this dilemma is an agreement that is reciprocal only in the way necessary to meet wto criteria. In reality, ACP countries will have some leeway and maintain limited protection of their key products. The extent to which trade should be liberalised under the new EPAs remains a highly controversial issue and it remains to be seen whether the WTO provisions governing regional trade agreements will be revised at the end of the Doha Round in favour of the EPA system. The Economic Partnership Agreements are a system for creating a free trade area between the European Union and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). This is a response to persistent criticism that the EU`s proposed non-reciprocal and discriminatory preferential trade agreements are incompatible with WTO rules. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement.
EPAs with different regions are in different playing conditions. In 2016, the EPAs were to be signed with three regional economic communities in Africa (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community), but these faced challenges.  [Update] EPAs are primarily development-oriented trade agreements aimed at promoting more trade and investment. They contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries. Critics suggest that the UK government estimates that the EPA will only increase the UK`s long-term GDP by 0.07%. Of course, the economic impact is modest and the agreement is, to a large extent, an exercise in damage reduction. Nevertheless, Japan-UK Epa should not be understood solely on a trade and economic front; The agreement will also serve as the basis for a new strategic partnership between the two countries. The United Kingdom has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Countries of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA). The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force on 1 January 2021.