Global Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:27 pm on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade 12:27 pm, 30th January 2020

The right hon. Gentleman mistakes me. I am not seeking to reopen the debate about the EU. We are leaving the EU tomorrow, and we must forge a positive and constructive future.

Madam Deputy Speaker, if you feel any sense of déjà vu in what I believe is the fifth debate entitled “Global Britain” in the past two years, then for my part it will only be in asking the Government to set out a coherent strategy as to what that phrase is going to mean in practice. In previous debates, I heard calls from Government Members to bring back the royal yacht and talk of something called empire 2.0, but that does not constitute a strategy. To ask the Government for their strategy is not to talk Britain down or to act against the national interest; it is simply to ask that we work together as grown-ups to devise a new relationship with our closest trading partners and to agree a set of priorities for our country’s future relations with others in an increasingly fraught geopolitical context.