Brexit Britain unveils trade policy for ‘world stage’– UK ‘cuts red tape’ & lines up deals

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Ministers said the UK Global Tariff, which replaces the EU’s Common External Tariff, will be used as the framework to trade independently outside of existing free trade agreements from January 1. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the new tariff had been tailored to meet the needs of the UK economy and backed British business to compete on the world stage.

It’s simpler to use, greener, and cuts red tape and other unnecessary barriers to trade

Liz Truss

She said: “It’s simpler to use, greener, and cuts red tape and other unnecessary barriers to trade.

“It will make it easier for businesses to import goods from overseas.”

The UK has already secured a raft of lucrative deals with the latest, a £5bn trade agreement with Mexico, announced yesterday.

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Ms Truss said the deal plays an important step in the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Mexico is one of the 11 countries within the trade agreement, which also includes Japan, Singapore and Vietnam – all of whom the UK has also announced deals with.

She said: “This is the seventh trade deal we’ve secured with a member of CPTPP, the grouping of 11 dynamic economies around the Pacific.

“So, it’s another really important stepping stone toward the UK joining CPTPP, and I look forward to making our application to do just that early next year.”

Prior to the deal with Mexico, the Department for International Trade also secured agreements with Vietnam and Singapore.

Britain has signed mutual recognition agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the US.

These agreements come under what is known as a conformity assessment which is where products meet a legal requirement from both countries.

These have been designed to replicate existing arrangements the three countries have with the EU and will take effect from January 1.

Britain and the US today signed an agreement on customs processes to keep trade flowing smoothly between the two countries when Britain fully leaves the EU at the end of the year.

Treasury minister Jesse Norman said: “This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit, and demonstrates the strength of the US-UK customs relationship.

“This deal will allow us to continue to cooperate in combatting customs offences by sharing information and good practice, and provides the legal underpinning for schemes to ease trade flows for importers and exporters.”

Boris Johnson has also announced plans to travel to India in the New Year in a bid to seal a free trade agreement.

The UK and India have held 14 Joint Economic Trade Committee meetings aimed at expanding ties between the two but it is hoped Mr Johnson’s visit next year could help push the two countries towards a lucrative free trade treaty.

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Earlier today Mr Johnson was asked if it was still his view that World Trade Organisation (WTO terms was the most likely Brexit outcome for the UK as negotiations between the two sides continue.

The Prime Minister replied: “On where we get to with the EU, well, again, that is very much a matter for our friends, they know what the parameters are and we’ve just got to make sure that we control our laws and control our own waters.

“There’s a good deal there to be done, but if not, WTO, Australia terms it is and as I say we will prosper mightily on those terms as well.”

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