Rishi Sunak blasts Brexit naysayers and claims economy is ‘coming back stronger’

Rishi Sunak has declared Britain “open for business” as he prepares to make the most of our Brexit freedoms at the G20 in India.

Speaking exclusively to the Express, which spearheaded the campaign to leave the EU, the Prime Minister said: “Daily Express readers know the potential of our nation knows no bounds.”

“I want to build a country where everyone can look forward with optimism, confident that our children and grandchildren can have a better future with every opportunity to succeed.

“The first step to achieving this is unleashing businesses so the economy can thrive – and that’s what we’re working every day to deliver.”

The upbeat PM, buoyed by revised figures showing the UK economy has outperformed Germany, France, Italy and Japan, since the pandemic, flies to the subcontinent brimming with confidence the UK is firing on all cylinders with the doubters and doom-mongers put in their place.

In India, he hopes to put the finishing touches to a trade deal as he tells the world there is no better place to do business than Britain.

Read more… India to slash tariffs on British cars and Scotch whisky in new trade deal

Ahead of the biggest summit of his premiership, he said: “Britain has a proud history of being one of the best places in the world to invest.

“Thanks to the unparalleled talent of our people, our world-leading universities, our unique and highly respected legal system, and the fact the UK is such a brilliant, vibrant place to live, we have long been a hub for global enterprise. My ambition is to go even further – to make Britain the best place in the world to do business.

“With our Brexit freedoms, we are going even further to show that Britain is open for business. And the effect is clear – investors around the world are flocking in to seize the amazing opportunities that we have to offer.

“The declinists and the naysayers were wrong – the economy performed well then and it is coming back stronger today.

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“That’s the message I’ll be taking to the G20 in India. I won’t just be working with Presidents and Prime Ministers to deepen our trade and investment links, I’ll also be meeting CEOs – because they want to hear more about what we’re doing in the UK.”

The crunch showdown of the world’s 19 leading economic countries, and the European Union, in New Delhi starts on Saturday.

Mr Sunak’s arrival in India, the world’s fifth-largest economy and powerhouse of industrial and tech creativity, will be an opportunity to finalise a deal with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in what could be one of the biggest trade pacts in history.

The tie-up looks increasingly likely to be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of the year and is a once-in-a-generation chance to strengthen the UK’s post-Brexit shift to the Indo-Pacific region.

Mr Sunak will also participate in a series of bilateral meetings with fellow world leaders, further enhancing Britain’s standing as a ready, willing and able business partner.

Gleeful Brexit opponents have repeatedly trumpeted how the UK economy had been the worst-performing among the G7’s most prosperous nations since the pandemic.

But the reality is very different. As Europe stutters and stumbles, the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to account for 50 percent of global expansion by 2035 and, over time, will help boost UK growth and prosperity.

UK exports to the EU and the rest of the world reached record highs of almost £400billion in 2022, global investment in Britain is outstripping comparable major economies, the IMF forecasts the UK economy will grow by 0.4 percent this year – an upward revision of 0.7 percent – and the flaccid Eurozone flirts with recession.

Mr Sunak’s optimistic assessment is a wake-up call to those who forecast a bleak future outside the closed-shop EU.

Already Tata, the Indian-owned parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, is poised to invest £4billion to build a new electric car battery factory in Somerset, in a move that will create 4,000 jobs.

That comes on the back of commitments worth £32billion already agreed with America and Japan, pioneering new trade partnerships with Australia and New Zealand, and Britain’s recently confirmed membership of The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership – a club worth £12trillion, or nearly one-fifth of the world’s economy, giving immediate access to a market of 500 million upwardly mobile people.

Joining the pact in the world’s fastest-growing economic region is a Brexit bonus that would have been impossible if the UK had remained shackled to the archaic rules and regulations of the protectionist Brussels cabal.

Signing up has instantly removed costly tariff restrictions among member countries including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Like the UK, India is likely to hold a general election next year, with both Hindu Mr Sunak, 43, who married Akshata Murthy, also 43, in her home city of Bengaluru, and Mr Modi desperate to showcase domestic strength and international cooperation.

Experts are hopeful Mr Sunak can play on his heritage and influence to bolster Anglo-Indian ties and strengthen our standing as the UK strikes new trade deals.

Mr Sunak, born in England to parents of Indian heritage, describes himself as a “proud Hindu”, adding: “My wife is Indian and being a proud Hindu, I will always have a connection to India and the people of India.

“I am hugely proud of my Indian roots and my connections to India.”

He also praised 72-year-old Mr Modi’s leadership, adding: “This country’s scale, diversity and extraordinary successes means India is the right country at the right time to hold the G20 Presidency. I pay tribute to Prime Minister Modi’s leadership over the last year and it’s wonderful to see India showing such global leadership.”

The UK remains a major player, the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world with an annual output of £190billion.

Kemi Badenoch, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade and President of the Board of Trade, said: “When Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016 there were many who forecast a grim existence awaiting us outside the bloc. We were told investment would dry up, jobs would leave our shores, and fewer countries would look to trade with an independent UK. Those voices of doom have been proved decisively wrong.

“Our potential trade deal is only going to grow that even further. And it’s possible because of Brexit and our ability to go out and strike new deals. Global Britain is here and it’s thriving.”

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