I have been sent some template campaign emails about Brexit and the future of UK trade.

I have been assured that the Government are committed to a free trade agenda including exploring all the benefits that this can bring. Since establishing the Department for International Trade, Ministers have visited 55 countries, promoting UK exports of goods and services and encouraging investment. More than £16 billion has been invested in the UK from overseas during this time.

I am pleased that the Government want to go further, and develop new trading relationships with countries around the world. I welcome the Secretary of State confirming that the UK has already begun informal talks with many of our partners around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and India, and is working with these countries to understand where barriers to trade and investment can be removed to our mutual benefit.

We need maximum freedom to achieve these aims, so the Prime Minister has ruled out full EU Customs Union membership, as membership of this union would prohibit our ability to establish new trade deals. Instead, I am pleased that the UK's aim will be to seek a bespoke agreement with the EU to ensure that cross-border trade remains as barrier-free as possible.

There is a big world for Britain to do business with. Through trade policy, I welcome the Government's opportunity to make Britain stronger, fairer, and more global.


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