Skip to main content

Barriers to Global Trade

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 21 July 2022

6. What steps her Department has taken to help reduce barriers to global trade for British businesses. (901226)

Removing trade barriers boosts our exports to new and familiar markets around the world. We have resolved 396 barriers around the world in the past two years, and just 45 of the 192 barriers we resolved in the last financial year could be worth around £5 billion to businesses across our country. If we can remove the next 100 trade barriers on our most wanted list, it has the potential to deliver export opportunities for British businesses worth around £20 billion. As one example, last month we removed barriers in Mongolia that prevented the export of British poultry and fish, opening up a market worth £10 million.

Many of my North Devon farmers and the National Farmers Union are concerned about food imports, but given the quality of our British food and drink, and the vast global market for our superior produce, what support has my hon. Friend’s Department put in place to promote and help farmers export around the world?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We see real potential for British food and drink exports to grow, particularly in high-growth markets where the middle classes are expanding—notably the Asia- Pacific region. We work closely with farming and food organisations, such as the NFU, to deliver a practical range of export support for farmers and food businesses. We are removing trade barriers globally, as I have referenced, including the ban on British beef in the Philippines, opening up a market worth £375 million a year to British farmers. We are expanding our overseas network of more than 100 agriculture, food and drink trade advisers to include eight new dedicated attachés, who will focus on unlocking trade barriers for our great British farmers.

What a load of bollards the Government are putting in the way of British trade with other parts of the world, and in particular with the European Union. Historically, loads of British orchestras, theatre groups, ballet groups and bands have toured easily across the whole of the European Union, and endless Committees have been told by Ministers that it is all being sorted out. The truth is that they are now prevented from taking that British export across the European Union. When is any one of these Ministers actually going to do something and get it sorted?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, which he puts in his usual way. The truth is that we continue to bang the drum for British exports of all kinds around the world, and we will continue to do that with the EU and beyond.