Skip to main content

Overseas Commercial Interests

Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 15 June 2021

My hon. Friend asks a very timely question, as the Prime Minister has today announced a free trade agreement with Australia, which will bring fantastic opportunities for British businesses from all over the United Kingdom. The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth more than £13.9 billion last year, and we look forward to it growing even further under this deal. The FCDO has co-ordinated the transition of 150 key international agreements in which the UK previously participated as a member of the EU, including supporting the Department for International Trade to agree bilateral trade agreements with 67 non-EU countries, plus the European Union.

Ahead of English Wine Week next week, would the Minister give me his personal assurance that he will do everything in his power to ensure that our embassies and our high commissions around the world do all they can to promote and showcase this growing and successful English product?

I could not agree more, and I know my hon. Friend and I do our best to support this fantastic industry. There is no better champion for the British wine industry, and he has some superb vineyards in Arundel and South Downs. The quality of our sparkling wines in particular are superb, not least those from north Yorkshire vineyards, including the Yorkshire Heart vineyard in Nun Monkton and the Dunesforde vineyard in Upper Dunsforth. I recommend a visit. He is totally right: there should be no excuse for our embassies, our high commissions and our consulates not stocking British projects, including our wines. I am sure all our ambassadors and high commissioners are watching, so I would ask them to make sure that their cellars are stocked up with British produce, including our fantastic British wines.