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Trade Agreements: US, Canada and New Zealand

Volume 696: debated on Thursday 10 June 2021

What progress she has made on negotiating free trade agreements with (a) the US, (b) Canada and (c) New Zealand. (900732)

We are making significant progress with our free trade agreement negotiations. We have just launched a consultation on the new, improved trade agreement with Canada, we are in the final stages of our FTA with New Zealand, and we are in the midst of resolving the Airbus-Boeing dispute with the US.

Does my right hon. Friend think it is right that the EU should have greater access to the UK market than our friends in New Zealand?

Next week we have the New Zealand Trade Minister, Damien O’Connor, coming to the UK, and we are working on a gold-standard agreement that will give us more access to Pacific markets at the same time as further deepening our economic relationship with a long-standing and trusted partner.

Happy birthday from Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Mr Speaker.

The point of trade deals is economic growth, but as the Secretary of State well knows, the trade deals with the US, Canada and New Zealand will make up only about 4% of the Brexit damage. However, signing a Swiss-style sanitary and phytosanitary agreement could achieve greater economic growth, would not threaten farming as the Australian trade deal does, would sort out the Northern Ireland protocol sausage situation and would prevent the Prime Minister from getting spoken to like a naughty schoolboy by the President of the United States. Given those four advantages, has she considered lifting her pen and signing a Swiss-style SPS agreement to make things a whole lot better on a number of fronts?

My colleague Lord Frost is clear that we need to see pragmatism from the EU to resolve this issue. The hon. Gentleman does not seem to acknowledge that the parts of the world where we are striking deals, whether Asia-Pacific with the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership or countries such as India and those in the Gulf, are the fast-growing parts of the world. He is living in a static past; we are living in a dynamic future.