Australia and the US emerge at the front of the queue for deal worth billions to UK economy
Australian PM tells Theresa May he wants UK deal ‘as soon as possible’
New International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is ‘scoping’ a dozen free trade deals to be ready for when Britain officially quits the EU
Says UK can be ‘a beacon for open trade’ once we cut ties with Brussels
He travels to US for meetings with top White House trade negotiator
May says early developments are proof she can ‘make Brexit work for UK’
US Senator tables bill to put Britain at ‘front of the queue’ for trade deal
Splits emerge among senior ministers over when to trigger Article 50
By MATT DATHAN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR MAILONLINE
17 July 2016
Ministers are aiming to secure ground-breaking free trade deals with 12 countries before Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
Australia wants to strike a deal ‘as soon as possible,’ the country’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told Theresa May yesterday.
And Liam Fox, the new International Trade Secretary, is due to fly to the US in the coming days to meet the White House’s most senior trade negotiator in the coming days.
Trade deals with those two countries alone could be worth billions of pounds to the British economy.
Mrs May said the early developments were proof she could ‘make Brexit work for Britain’ and said her talks her Australian counterpart were ‘very encouraging’.
Today Mr Fox revealed he had held ‘very fruitful’ talks with the Canadian trade minister, who said on Friday that her country were keen for Britain to piggyback on the landmark deal it has just signed with the EU even after Brexit takes effect.
He told the Sunday Times he is ‘scoping about a dozen free-trade deals outside the EU to be ready for when we leave’, adding: ‘We can make Britain a beacon for open trade.’
Revealing a number of countries had already been in contact about striking free trade deals, Mr Fox said: ‘We’ve already had a number of countries saying: we’d love to do a trade deal with the world’s fifth-biggest economy without having to deal with the other 27 members of the EU.’
The willingness of leading players from the world’s most powerful economies to open trade talks defies countless warnings from pro-EU campaigners before last months’ referendum that Britain would struggle to strike free trade deals if we cut ties from Brussels.
In a further sign of the potential for Britain to strike lucrative free trade deals once it leaves the EU, a leading US Senator has tabled a bill calling on President Obama to maintain all existing trade deals with Britain and immediately strike a new deal with the UK once it cuts ties with Brussels.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3694227/Britain-aims-secure-free-trade-deals-12-countries-leaving-EU-Australia-emerge-queue-deal-worth-billions-UK-economy.html#ixzz4EgBngXHM