he International Trade Secretary has defended the UK’s trade strategy against ‘naysayers’ and ‘pessimists’, saying ‘we are not Britain and never have been’.
Speaking at the Margaret Thatcher Trade Conference, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the country could now ‘write a new chapter’ in its ‘proud trade history’ as it no longer waits for IT ‘bureaucracy’ to say no “of the EU”.
Concluding her speech at the Center for Policy Studies (CPS) event, she said: “I hope this gives you a brief insight into the UK’s ambitious vision for trade.
“Some critics wondered if we had the strategy to make it happen and if there should be a pound of weight, I don’t know, sitting as it is on a dusty shelf somewhere.
“I’m afraid I fundamentally reject this approach. Because our strategy is clear, dynamic and built on really solid foundations.
With the greatest respect to Matt Lucas, we are not Little Britain and we have never been
“It is based on the principle of free, fair and rules-based international trade, on the flexibility and dynamism offered by our new status as an independent trading nation, and on the search to seize the opportunities of a center of moving gravity in global economy.
“Opportunities that we are particularly well placed to seize.”
The minister added: “It’s a strategy that doesn’t just look at the next headline, next quarter or next year, but realizes there are opportunities ahead in the decades to come.
“This will make it easier for businesses to export…and bring prosperity to every region and nation in our country.”
“Now, just as in Mrs Thatcher’s day, there are the naysayers and the pessimists who claim we are Little Britain – too slow, too weak, too inexperienced.
“But, and with the greatest respect for Matt Lucas, we are not Little Britain and we never have been. We are global Britain.
Looking ahead to post-Brexit trade deals, Ms Trevelyan said: ‘For the first time in nearly 50 years, we are no longer waiting for the ‘IT says no’ bureaucracy in the EU, where trade negotiations drag on .”
Through the energy, innovation and commitment of businesses, communities and this ambitious strategy, we will unleash the brilliant potential of our country and write a new chapter in our proud commercial history.
She added: “We are an independent trading nation, able to reach out on our own, land good deals and empower businesses to seize these opportunities of the future and create well-paying, highly-skilled jobs. , and to forge an open and enterprising economy. allowing us to build back better after the pandemic, leveling the whole of the UK.
“Through the energy, innovation and commitment of businesses, communities and this ambitious strategy, we will unleash our country’s brilliant potential and write a new chapter in our proud commercial history.”
Ms. Trevelyan also reiterated the government’s focus on trade in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Between 2019 and 2050, more than half of global growth is expected to come from the Indo-Pacific.
“As part of this, South Asia will experience particularly rapid growth and India is expected to be the world’s third largest economy by 2050.
“India is of course one of our most important export markets and I look forward to launching our trade negotiations with them soon. rising incomes in emerging markets are changing these spending habits.
“There could be nearly two billion more middle-class consumers on the planet by 2050.
“And about three-quarters of those increases will be in the Indo-Pacific region. And these are trends that we therefore cannot afford to ignore.
A long-term view of trade means adapting to this changing reality and seeking to seize opportunities in high-value emerging markets where demand for our world-class goods and services is high.
“So taking a long-term view of trade means adapting to this changing reality and reaching out to seize opportunities in high-value emerging markets where demand for our world-class goods and services is high.
“That means focusing our efforts on the parts of the world that can boost UK trade in industries of the future like digital services and technology, not hunkering down and retreating into protectionism, but reaching out to trade with the markets. fastest growing in the world, while ensuring that Britain’s status as a global exporter, center of foreign investment and champion of international trade remains firm.
Meanwhile, Downing Street rejected a suggestion by Ms Trevelyan that Section 16 would not be triggered until Christmas.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted there was no timetable for the potential use of the power, which would suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol and risk a major escalation of tensions with the EU.
“Our preference remains to agree to a negotiated solution if we can,” the spokesperson said.
“Of course we will use Article 16, the safety mechanism, if no solution can be found.”
When asked if the UK would be willing to use it before Christmas, the spokesman added: “I’m not going to put a timetable on it. We continue to believe that the conditions for triggering this Article 16 security mechanism have been met. This remains the Government’s position, but we will continue to seek a negotiated consensual solution.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary said: ‘I don’t think anyone is calling Article 16 before Christmas, absolutely not.