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Surplus Target and Corporation Tax

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 4th July 2016.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State 4:27 pm, 4th July 2016

I know my hon. Friend’s constituency well, as it neighbours my own. We represent similar communities in Parliament. We as a country do not have to make a choice between exporting to Europe and exporting to the world; we should be doing both. Of course we should be doing everything we can to maintain close trading links with our European partners, and indeed building on them if that is possible, but we should also be looking for opportunities around the rest of the world. The trip that I am making to China will provide an opportunity to communicate that message, and I have also spoken to the Speaker of Congress and others in the United States Administration about what we can do to strengthen our links with that huge market. In the end, however, the best thing that UKTI can do is to help not only our largest companies but the small businesses that my hon. Friend has referred to. In countries such as Germany, many more small and medium-sized companies are exporting than is the case in the UK, but it is within our own gift to address that and we need to give those companies all the help that we can.