As the Prime Minister has made clear, the UK is aiming for a clean and orderly exit from the European Union (EU) and its associate bodies, including the Single Market and Customs Union. This will mean, on departure, that the UK will be able to operate a fully independent trade policy which can capitalize on, and expand its reach to, global markets; attract inward investment; and, ultimately, help build a dynamic and diversified economy.
I support this vision and I am pleased the UK negotiating team and the Department for International Trade are formulating policy along these lines by examining options to ensure continued access to trade agreements negotiated by the EU, as well as looking at ways to retain a tariff-free relationship with our European neighbours. This approach will provide a level of continuity for UK businesses and, in addition, present opportunities for them to work with new partners in the global market.
These bespoke trade arrangements will be transparent and inclusive, and the Government has promised to work with Parliament and the devolved administrations to shape their content at each and every stage.
This is an important point, that will empower our elected lawmakers and ensure that, on leaving the EU, we will have a fair and representative policy on free trade.