BORIS Johnson told the Cabinet his aim is to have 80 per cent of Britain’s trade covered by post-Brexit free trade deals within three years.
That would be a 30 per cent increase on the current proportion that is covered through free trade deals, including our trade with EU countries.
Boris Johnson wants to have 80 per cent of Britain’s post-Brexit trade deals covered in three years
The PM wants to prioritise striking free trade deals with countries that it doesn’t currently have free trade agreements (FTAs) with.
Those at the top of the list are the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The 80 per cent figure was in the Tory party manifesto.
From today Britain can finally open formal trade deal negotiations with third countries having been barred from doing so as an EU member.
Ministers will also aim to finish rolling-over the 40 FTAs Britain currently enjoys as an EU member.
So far only half of them have been officially rolled-over.
But even those 40 FTAs only represent around 12 per cent of Britain’s trade.
Michael Gove said friction in trade with the EU is the price Britain will pay for regaining Britains sovereignty.
Whitehall departments have been told to prepare for the move.
It is a reversal of the PMs previous No Deal planning and designed to pressure Brussels ahead of trade talks.
‘BETTER FOR OUR ECONOMY’
Spelling out the costs of Brexit to EU trade for the first time since the election, the leading Brexiteer said there will be some regulations that will differ in Britain, adding: We will do things in a way which is better for our economy.
Mr Gove admitted there will be “bureaucratic processes there that aren’t there now”, but said the Government will do everything possible to minimise the friction in the interest of our country.
Mr Gove told Sky News: We want trade to be as frictionless as possible, but the EU is clear – you can only have fully frictionless trade if you accept all their rules, you accept all their laws, you’re subordinate to their judges, you’re subordinate to their political structures.
“But we voted to be independent.”
The Government wants to mirror the comprehensive trade deal the EU struck with Canada, where there are no tariffs, no quotas but where some regulations diverge between the UK and the bloc.
The PMs deputy spokesman echoed Mr Goves comments and said businesses should start preparing for the introduction of friction from January 2021.
Mr Gove also ruled out the idea of trading fishing rights in exchange for better EU market access in other industries.
Asked whether Britain would trade access to our fishing waters in order to secure better access to EU markets, Mr Gove told Sky News: No.
Earlier this week Downing Street sparked fears fishing rights could be used as bargaining chips after refusing to rule out the prospect of using them to force better terms from the EU on finance and other markets.
Mr Gove said: “If people want to fish in our waters, well we’ll decide.
The Cabinet minister pointed to the examples of Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland as much smaller countries to Britain who control access to their waters.
He said: So we will control access to ours.
Mr Gove also said Brexit had made the UK warmer to immigration.
He told the BBC: “Obviously, we are in what’s called a transition period for eleven months and during that time EU laws still apply.
“But we are moving further away from the orbit of EU rules and laws.
“For example, on migration, we can decide what the right policy is, who should come here and on what terms.
“All the evidence is, actually, that since we voted to leave the EU, that attitudes towards immigration have become more warmer and optimistic.”