The fact is that the previous Minister was engaged, as was I, in a great many lines of negotiation with countries that have agreement with the EU. Progress is being made and will continue to be made under this Administration.
The Government have an overarching commitment to free trade, which is a fantastic and progressive means of stimulating economic growth, creating jobs and providing greater consumer choice. The UK has been, and will continue to be, a leading voice in support of free trade globally. We will continue to support the EU’s ambitious trade agenda while we remain an EU member state. As I have just illustrated, this includes some 40 trade agreements, including the EPA with Japan, which we are talking about today. Ongoing UK support for these agreements, including in respect of signature and conclusion of the Japan agreement in July, will send a positive message about our commitment to global free trade, now and as we prepare to leave the EU.