Brexit and Trade

12th October 2017

Following the UK government’s latest position paper on exiting the EU, Anne Main MP has praised the commitment to reduce poverty through trade.

‘I am delighted that the government has stated clearly its intention to renew its focus on trading with developing countries.  Free trade has helped to lift a billion people out of poverty in the last 30 years.  We can be the drivers of global free trade.’

Mrs Main, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh, said trading with developing nations was a, ‘huge opportunity to help the world’s poor.  Post-Brexit we can accelerate our trade with poorer countries through preferential access and help people stand on their own two feet.

‘We have been helping millions through our aid across the globe, but that is only one part of the equation.  Trade and aid provide a better and more sustainable path to alleviating poverty, as I have seen through my work in Bangladesh.’

The Department for International Trade’s paper Preparing for our future UK trade policy stated: ‘One important way in which trade can support developing countries is providing preferential access for them, where generally applicable tariffs are in place. Easier access to the markets of developed countries provides vital opportunities for the world’s poorest countries to help grow their economies and reduce poverty, whilst UK business and consumers rely on these relationships for lower cost goods and greater choice of products.

‘As we leave the EU, we recognise the need for a smooth transition not only for the UK but also for developing countries. It is therefore important that the UK is ready to put in place a trade preferences scheme, which will, as a minimum, provide the same level of access as the current EU trade preference scheme. This will ensure that the world’s poorest countries can still benefit from duty-free access to UK markets, and that other developing countries across the globe can continue to export to the UK accordingly.’

| DTI, Preparing for our future UK trade policy

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Bangladesh APPG Report

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