My vision for Britain outside the EU is clear: a fully-independent, sovereign country with the freedom to make our own decisions. We are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe. The Government needs to build a global Britain that will trade around the world, build new alliances with other countries and deliver prosperity for its people.
As an outward-looking, globally engaged nation, I believe that the UK should work to tackle international problems at their source, not wait for them to arrive on our doorstep. The UK will continue to play a leading role in international development: the Government remains committed to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on development assistance, and to achieving the UN’s Global Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030. We can help developing countries leave aid dependency behind and become our trading partners of the future.
Withdrawing from the EU will give us the opportunity to shape our own international trade and investment opportunities, drive even greater openness with international partners and put Britain firmly at the forefront of global trade and investment. The Department for International Trade is working closely with counterparts across a wide range of markets in order to promote the UK as a great place to do business and with which to trade. The Government is rightly taking advantage of all the opportunities available to us to ensure that Britain becomes the global leader in free trade once we leave the EU.
As I am sure you are aware, the EU places tariffs and trade barriers on nations outside the European Economic Area without their own bespoke free trade deal with the EU. This means the poorest countries in the world are restricted from selling their products into European markets. Once we leave the EU we will be free to remove tariffs on the developing world and encourage greater trade with Africa, South America and beyond. Not only will this result in cheaper food prices for people in Britain, but it will allow for greater prosperity for those in developing nations.
I have always believed that free trade is one of the most powerful tools we have to help those in the greatest need around the world. Research shows that trade is one of the best liberators of global poverty, as seen in China and India. The UK will seek to be a global advocate for free trade ensuring that government works together to help eradicate global poverty, including as part of a future UK trade policy.
Robert Courts MP