G7 Summit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:33 pm, 3rd September 2019

Before I begin my statement, I am sure that the whole House will join me in remembering that this country entered the second world war 80 years ago today. It is of course true that the horror of that conflict surpasses all modern controversies. It is also true that this country still stands—then as now—for democracy, for the rule of law, and for the fight against racial and religious hatred, and I know that this whole House is united in defending those values around the world.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I will make a statement about the G7 summit in Biarritz. As I speak, vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are on fire, free trade is in retreat, 130 million girls worldwide are not in education and our oceans are being foully polluted, so it has never been more important for a global Britain to use our voice as an agent for change and progress. It is only by exerting our influence at a global level and only by sticking up for our values and beliefs that we can create the international context for Britain to prosper and to ensure that this is the greatest place on earth to live, work, start a family, open a business, trade and invest. So at the G7, I made the case for free trade as an engine of prosperity and progress that has lifted billions out of poverty, yet the reality is that trade, as a share of the world economy, has been stagnant for the last decade. In the leaders’ declaration, the G7 unanimously endorsed open and fair world trade and was determined to reform the World Trade Organisation and to reach agreement next year to simplify regulatory barriers.

Britain is on the verge of taking back control of our trade policy and restoring our independent seat in the WTO for the first time in 46 years. Our exports to the United States—[Interruption.] I wish my hon. Friend Dr Lee all the best. [Interruption.]