Future International Trade Opportunities

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire 4:30 pm, 1st May 2019

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will be able to intervene later, as I want to wind up my remarks.

I began by saying that leaving the EU brings a unique opportunity to the UK. In order to make the most of leaving, we need to rethink our strategy. The creation of our own UK regulatory framework can play a big part in that. I want to make it clear that the insurance industry is not looking for standards to be reduced or diluted. It is committed to maintaining standards, but it needs to be able to compete on the global stage. We should be under no illusions: regulation is a key factor in businesses deciding to invest here and to send their people here. It is really important that the Minister has at the forefront of his mind the need to retain proportionate regulation so we are not put at a disadvantage.

In March, following his spring statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government would review the UK’s future regulatory framework for financial services to

“maintain world-leading financial services regulatory standards, remain open to international markets, and realise new trading opportunities.”

An international competitiveness duty should be a priority for that review. As I said, I think there are exciting opportunities ahead. Those of us who believe in the potential for our trading future were heartened by the International Trade Secretary’s comment that we will

“break down the barriers to trade wherever we find them.”—[Official Report, 16 July 2018;
Vol. 645, c. 43.]

That needs to be our mantra as we move forward. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say about how we can continue our progress.