To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans his Department has to develop trade links with countries outside the EU in the next five years.
Half of the UK’s trade is already with the rest of the world, outside of the EU, and it is important for the future of the UK, that we look to where the growing parts of the world economy are, such as Asia.
The Government is preparing for an ambitious programme of trade negotiations and enhanced market access, including potentially opening a series of formal negotiations for new free trade agreements with the United States, Australia and New Zealand; and scoping possible UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We have completed 14-week long public consultations on each of these three potential future trade agreement negotiations and on the UK’s possible accession to the CPTPP.
While we are looking to forge new agreements, the Government is also seeking continuity for our existing EU free trade agreements as we leave the European Union. These give us the platform to build and strengthen our already-successful trading relationships with existing countries.
In addition, we are building stronger relationships with large economies – such as China, India, and Brazil – through a series of Joint Trade Reviews.