Free trade helped build the United Kingdom, bringing opportunity to every corner of our country through new jobs, businesses, and industries.
The UK is now an independent free trading nation for the first time in nearly fifty years, presenting a historic opportunity to drive forward our ongoing recovery and future prosperity through trade. We are outside the protectionist EU and its high tariff wall, giving us the freedom to embrace faster-growing trading partners around the world.
Just as great British reformers such as Adam Smith paved the way in the nineteenth century, I have brought together a new group of reformers to do the same in the twenty first century as part of our Board of Trade.
Together, we have seen the best of British businesses capitalising on global opportunities which support high-quality jobs.
The Board joined me last month in visiting the Foyle Food Group, the UK’s largest single dedicated beef processor, which has spearheaded exports into the United States after nearly twenty years with British beef absent from American plates.
By sending world-class British meat around the world, from the US to Japan, Foyle supports the livelihoods of over 5,000 UK farmers.
We know that trade equals jobs, with new research out today showing that UK exports support nearly 6.5 million jobs across the country.
These findings show how important free trade is in our mission to level up the country, as around three in four of the jobs reliant on exports are outside London.
They also underline how vital it is for the UK to look far beyond its shores for new opportunities, as most jobs – 3.7 million – are supported by exports to nations beyond Europe.
Now is the time for British businesses to go global, seizing new opportunities in fast-growing markets as we realise our vision of Global Britain.
The Board of Trade sets out today in its new report “Global Britain, Local Jobs” how the UK can use its independent trade policy to herald a new era rich in jobs, higher wages and opportunity.
The great economies of tomorrow are growing across the Indo-Pacific, with rising living standards set to create new centres of demand for high-quality UK goods and services.
Almost 90% of world growth is expected to be outside the EU over the next five years. By 2050, the largest ten economies in the world are set to include India, Indonesia and Brazil. By the end of this decade alone, two-thirds of the world’s middle-class consumers are expected to be living in Asia-Pacific.
Learning from the recent successes of great trading nations such as Australia and New Zealand, the Board calls for the Government to advance an export-led recovery, strike more trade deals and champion modern rules for global trade.
That is why we are using our independent trade policy to grow our slice of the global pie. We are building a network of advanced trade deals from the Atlantic to the Pacific, covering 66 countries and securing £890 billion in trade. We are stepping up this year, with the UK holding the presidencies of the G7 and Cop26, to lead the fight for free and fair trade.
Together with our like-minded allies, we are building back a better, fairer and greener trading environment fit for the 21st century.
This is Global Britain in action: seizing new opportunities overseas and bringing home jobs and prosperity to every corner of the country.
At this critical time in our history, we are showing a new generation the good that the UK can do as an independent free trading nation once again.