I am proud to support the Government’s ambitious trade policy, which will seize on the opportunities available to us as a sovereign trading nation. This trade policy will champion and enhance the UK’s reputation as a world-leading, open and business friendly destination for foreign investment, whilst also strengthening critical supply chains and improving the UK’s security and economic resilience through international trade. The Government will continue to support businesses in tackling trade barriers, as well as working with partners to strengthen the international trading system and update the global trading rules in support of free and fair trade.
Recent achievements of this trade policy include securing far-reaching trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. These deals further pave the way for UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a vast free trade area populated by half a billion people and with a joint GDP of £8.4 trillion in 2020.
Regarding trade with the EU, I am glad that the Government has launched the Export Support Service. No matter the size of the business, how much they export or where in the UK they are based, businesses can use the Export Support Service to get answers to practical questions. While the service currently focuses on questions businesses have about trading with Europe, it will expand to cover more global markets later this year.
I am also aware that the report identified the Northern Ireland Protocol as a point of friction in the UK’s trading relationship with the EU. Be assured that the Government are working with the EU to find a way to resolve these issues and put the Protocol onto a sustainable footing.
I can assure you that ministerial colleagues are aware of the report, and I am confident they will give its recommendations due consideration.