Global Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:14 pm on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities 12:14 pm, 30th January 2020

My hon. Friend is right. Of course we are rolling over all the existing trade preference schemes with those nations, but as we leave the EU, we have opportunities to be more flexible. We have an opportunity to add new goods and to ensure that there is not a cliff edge for those developing nations, so that they do not see those trade preferences eroded when they get to a certain level of development. I completely agree with my hon. Friend that it is enterprise in this country that will help us to level up Britain, and it is enterprise across the world that will help us to level up world economies, taking more people out of poverty.

Working together with our friends and allies such as the EU, the United States and Japan, we will defend the frontiers of freedom, opportunity and prosperity for people right across the globe. We will engage at the G7 and the G20 and in the Commonwealth to move forward with WTO reform, update the rulebook and strengthen transparency. We are ambitious not just to defend freedom’s frontiers but to expand them. Just as we led the way in opening trade in goods during the past two centuries, as global Britain we will seek to do the same for services. The UK is the world’s second largest services exporter. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that two thirds of UK service exports are traded remotely, so we will be looking for advanced digital and data chapters to help businesses right across our country to succeed. Investment in the UK tech sector grew faster than any other country in the world last year, according to research by Tech Nation. We want to build on that potential, with future FTAs setting a global benchmark to take advantage of innovations in data, digital collaboration and the digitisation of trade.

We are determined to level up, to deliver opportunity and to unleash the potential of every part of the United Kingdom. We will promote the future of free trade in a world of rising protectionism. Tomorrow, we will demonstrate that Britain is back and we are ready to trade.