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Brexit (Trade Agreements)

International Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes 12:00 am, 29th March 2018

What assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits to UK businesses and consumers of securing trade agreements with non-EU countries after the UK has left the EU.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Conservative, Redditch

What assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits to UK businesses and consumers of securing trade agreements with non-EU countries after the UK has left the EU.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

As part of its preparations for future trade negotiations, the Department for International Trade has established 14 trade working groups and high-level dialogues with key trade partners beyond the EU to explore the best ways of progressing our trade and investment relationships.

Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes

Many businesses in my constituency, particularly in the seafood sector, are reliant on the free flow of supplies. Does the Minister share my confidence that new arrangements can be made to ensure that, particularly in the seafood sector, supplies are maintained without any undue delay?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

My hon. Friend is a passionate advocate for the fish and seafood sector in his constituency. Those sectors already contribute £1.3 billion to the UK economy. I am concerned about reports of problems at Five Star Fish in Grimsby, next door to his constituency, but I can tell him that leaving the common fisheries policy presents the opportunities to boost exports, expertise and fish-related services.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Conservative, Redditch

Last week I visited the innovative company, Mission Resources, in Abbots Morton. It has invited the home energy resources unit, which generates energy from household waste to reduce fuel consumption, furthering climate change reduction and the Government’s clean growth strategy. Given that the company is looking to expand to powerhouses such as China and India, what assurances can the Secretary of State give to my constituent about the opportunities for trade with non-EU countries?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Over the last seven years, this Government have made significant resource investments into clean energy and renewable technologies. We have put in a huge amount of effort to ensure that those capabilities are now exportable. The UK has the world’s largest offshore wind sector and quite a significant sector in resources such as solar. We need to take advantage of export opportunities, and that is where the Department for International Trade plays its role.