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Britain's Place in the World

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 6:49 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State 6:49 pm, 15th October 2019

We went to the Foreign Affairs Council yesterday; we were party to the discussions there and the outcome of those deliberations.

The Gracious Speech sets out the legislation that we need both to give effect to Brexit and to grasp the opportunities of it. That legislation will ensure a smooth and orderly departure and a better deal for our farmers and fishing industry, as Jim Shannon expressed. It will take back control of our immigration policy, with a points-based migration system, and allow us to become an energetic champion of global free trade for United Kingdom businesses and consumers. Our vision for a global Britain is about more than Brexit, because if only the Opposition will let this country go, we will get beyond Brexit.

The Government will maintain and strengthen our historical trade ties, boosting our competitiveness by expanding trade with growth markets of the future. We want a strong trading relationship with our existing partners in Europe and North America. Thanks to the tireless work of my right hon. Friend the International Trade Secretary, we have made good progress in preparing the ground for future free trade agreements after Brexit. In the words of the US Secretary of State, the US is poised

“on the doorstep, pen in hand, ready to sign” a deal. We are not at the back of the queue; we are at the front of the line. That is good news for our businesses that want to export, and it is good news for consumers on both sides of the Atlantic who want cheaper food and services with wider choice. That is where the opportunities of the future will be found. As a global champion of liberal free trade, this Government are ready to grasp those opportunities. We are the internationalists; we are not the little Europeans who sit opposite.