The United Kingdom expects to have draft free trade agreements ready for execution long before it reaches the end of its Brexit transitional period, with Canada, Australia and New Zealand being priority counterparts for the British government.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester (UK),
British Trade Minister, Liam Fox, said that he was confident that Britain would be able to strike trade agreements with its closest allies.
He also criticized the media for talking Britain down in the complicated negotiations with the European Union. Instead, he stated Britain would become a much more agile trading country after Brexit, with greater emphasis on global trade within the Commonwealth.
Asked whether there would be draft treaties on the table before the expected two year transitional period expires in March 2021, Fox said: “We’ll expect to have draft agreements long before that with a number of countries. We want the EU transitional ones done by 2019 and then, at that point, we want to see the United States, Australia and New Zealand which are the priority ones.”
The announcement comes after Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, stated his desire to sign a free trade deal with the UK “as quick as possible”, with New Zealand’s Trade Minister, Todd McClay, confirming Australia and New Zealand as “first in line” for Brexit trade deals.
Global News Network in Canada has also reported that Canada would be a priority country for a free trade agreement, with top officials confirming that the Canadian government is also eager to negotiate freer movement with the United Kingdom.
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