Liam Fox revealed Britain is already in informal trade talks with 12 different countries
The International Trade Secretary said that Brexit is “key to British prosperity” and that “trade audits” are being carried out so that Britain is fully prepared to strike trade deals as soon as the country formally withdraws from the EU in 2019.
China, India, Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Oman are believed to be among the countries set for talks with Britain ahead of the triggering of Article 50 later this year.
The three Brexit chiefs have all outlined a positive vision for Brexit
We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit
Dr Liam Fox
In spite of stern warnings from the EU not to conduct formal trade talks before it leaves the grasps of sprawling European bureaucracy, Dr Fox hinted that Britain would be putting itself in the best position for when the UK finally does leave.
Dr Fox told the Telegraph: “When we leave, we will want to develop new arrangements with countries like Australia, New Zealand and India.
“We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit.”
May's Brexit speech: Europe reacts
Tue, January 17, 2017
Politicians and celebrities tweet their reaction as Theresa May unveils her 12 point plan for Britain leaving the EU.
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The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit Speech
He added: “We need maximum freedom to achieve this which is why the Prime Minister was right to rule out full Customs Union membership.
“There is a big world for us to do business with, and we intend to do just that. We should do so with considerable self-confidence.”
Dr Fox’s optimistic approach to Brexit followed David Davis’ promise to bring the immigration back under the control of Britain’s sovereign Government.
Theresa May said the UK would not pick and choose parts of the EU
The Brexit Secretary claimed it is “the simple truth” that Britain would be able to reduce net migration down to the “tens of thousands” – and that once immigration was “under your control anything is possible”.
He said: “The simple truth is that we're going to do it. It's going to be back under our control – that's the point. Once it's under your control anything is possible.”
Theresa May’s 12-point Brexit speech on Tuesday mooted to the nation that she would not be seeking to remain within the single market or customs union – which would give Britain the ability to strike its own free trade deals and take control of its borders.
The Prime Minister laid down a marker before talks start with her European counterparts, warning that she would walk away from negotiations if Brussels tries to give the UK a “bad deal”.