However, junior trade minister Greg Hands said there was no geographical restriction that would prevent the U.K.'s participation. As it stands, the 11 remaining TPP countries, which include Canada, Japan and Mexico, have agreed to push forward with a TPP now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The US accounted for 65% of the total GDP of the original TPP members. The 11 signatories, also including Japan, last November reached a broad accord on a revised TPP deal.
If Britain were to join the deal it would make them the first nation not bordering the Pacific or South China Sea, potentially making the Trans-Pacific Partnership name redundant.
At the end of previous year, Britain received the approval of EU member states to move to the second stage of the exit negotiations - those for the UK's trade relationship with the European Union.
But President Trump withdrew the USA from TPP so the British government will have to negotiate separately.
News of potential trade groups could allow British farmers to "thrive" outside the European Union, following decades of being "boxed in" by the EU's agricultural policies.
Britain can not sign any trade agreements until after it has left the European Union, expected around March 2019. "It is early days, but as our Trade Policy Minister has pointed out, we are not excluding future talks on plurilateral relationships".
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Then China joined talks to join the TPP shortly after the United States dropped out, and has been working with other potential member nations on a restyled version of the deal.
In a column for conservative website Conservative Home, the secretary of state for worldwide trade argued that perceptions of Brexit in Britain are at odds with what he is seeing overseas and that it presents a new opportunity for British trade and investment.
Fellow non-euro country Sweden has long seen Britain as one of its closest partners in the union, and concerns have been raised that pressure for Sweden to join will increase when its ally leaves the EU.
Lib Dem Tim Farron said: "This plan smacks of desperation".
But critics suggested the idea of joining TPP was a distraction from the problems Britain faces when it leaves the EU. "It's all pie in sky thinking". Michael Gove, the environment secretary, said in December that parliament would have an effective veto over any trade deal.