Prime Minister May: “This shows that we can make Brexit work for Britain”
The Brexit vote that resulted in David Cameron stepping down has also prompted a range of apocolyptic fear-mongering that British trade would collapse.
In fact, numerous countries are beginning to explore free trade deals with Britain after its EU exit. With the 2019 date for Britain’s exit from the EU looming, the United States and Australia have emerged “at the front of queue” to line up trade deals. Such deals with just these two countries “alone could be worth billions of pounds to the British economy.”
Australia, in particular, sees the opportunity to open up trading with Britain as a “matter of urgency.”
Australia has called for a free-trade deal with Britain as soon as possible, in a boost for the newly appointed prime minister, Theresa May.
In a phone call on Saturday, May spoke to her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, who expressed his desire to open up trading between the two countries as a matter of urgency.
For her part, May states her belief that these talks are important in terms of showing that Brexit can work out well for Britons.
The ability to negotiate individual free trade deals was part of the motivation for Brexit:
The Guardian continues:
May described the call with Turnbull as very encouraging and insisted it showed leaving the European Union could work for Britain. She has asked the new international trade secretary, Liam Fox, to begin exploring options but acknowledged that Britain could not sign any deals while it was still an EU member.
May said: “I have been very clear that this government will make a success of our exit from the European Union. One of the ways we will do this is by embracing the opportunities to strike free trade deals with our partners across the globe. It is very encouraging that one of our closest international partners is already seeking to establish just such a deal.
“This shows that we can make Brexit work for Britain, and the new secretary of state for international trade will be taking this forward in the weeks and months ahead. Britain is an outward-looking and globally minded country, and we will build on this as we forge a new role for ourselves in the world.”
Britain cannot enter into an official trade deal with any country outside the EU until it officially leaves in 2019.
Britain is barred from striking individual trade deals until it officially leaves the EU, which is set to be a lengthy and complicated process that will take up to two years once Article 50 – thee formal process for leaving – is triggered.
But Mr Fox hopes to have agreed the terms of new trade deals with countries beforehand so they could take effect immediately after Britain is no longer an EU member state.
Mrs May appointed Mr Fox, a prominent Brexit campaigner, to drum up new trade deals with non-EU countries around the world as part of her wide-ranging Cabinet reshuffle last week.
However, splits among senior government ministers started to emerge over the weekend over when Britain should trigger Article 50.
David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, wants Britain to start the formal process of leaving the EU this year to enable the UK to start life outside the Brussels club from January 1 2019.
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