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Free Trade Agreements: Effect on the East Midlands

Volume 677: debated on Thursday 18 June 2020

What assessment she has made of the potential effect of future free trade agreements on the economy in the east midlands. (903432)

This is an important question. Free trade agreements will certainly help Britain to bounce back from coronavirus and will bring better jobs, higher wages, greater choice and lower prices to consumers and businesses across the country. In the east midlands, lower tariffs and barriers will help to diversify the supply chain and reduce reliance on any single country for businesses that seek to thrive in the new global trading network which we are going to be at the heart of.

I am particularly pleased that we are now finally able to open direct negotiations with some of our oldest and closest allies. Will my hon. Friend tell me what steps the Government are taking to support businesses in the east midlands to make the most of the new opportunities created by these future trade agreements?

As a newly independent trading nation, we will be able to champion free trade, fight protectionism and remove barriers at every opportunity. That includes tariffs. We will be trading on British terms with our new global tariff, which will cut red tape and cut costs for consumers and businesses in Gedling and in the region. My Department and our experienced international trade advisers will continue to support companies across the east midlands access exporting opportunities, and to provide export credit and insurance through UK Export Finance.