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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 4:11 pm, 11th June 2018

First, I add my congratulations to those of the right hon. Gentleman to all those who took action to recognise the 100 years’ anniversary of women getting the vote. This is a very good year for women in politics. We should continue to recognise that anniversary.

There was indeed, as the right hon. Gentleman said, a focus at the Charlevoix summit on the question of gender equality and women’s empowerment. As he said, there was the important declaration on increasing opportunities for at least 12 years of safe and quality education for all, and to dismantling the barriers to girls’ and women’s quality education, particularly in emergencies and in conflict-affected and fragile states. We also recognised that marginalised girls, such as those with disability, face additional barriers in maintaining access to education. That was an important commitment from all those around the table.

The right hon. Gentleman ended up by talking about trade deals and the possibility of a trade deal with the United States of America. We have committed, when we have an independent trade policy, to ensuring that we are able to put in place trade deals around the rest of the world. The United States has been speaking to us about the possibility of such a trade deal. Of course, when we negotiate with the United States, or indeed any other country around the world, we will be ensuring that we negotiate in the interests of the United Kingdom. But we do believe that that free trade—those open markets—is the best way to bring prosperity, to bring jobs, to encourage competition, to increase productivity, and to encourage innovation, which, at the end of the day, is what advances medicine and advances people’s lives in so many different ways. We will be looking forward, as I say, to making sure that we do trade deals that are firmly in the interests of this country.