International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the UK would champion free trade
With the UK due to throw off the shackles of the EU in just two years, major economies like China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India are keen to have trade deals in place when Brexit is concluded.
The revelation by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox in an article has added to the growing sense of optimism that has sprung from Theresa May's inspiring speech earlier this week where she confirmed that Britain will also leave the single market.
Although, officially bilateral trade talks cannot take place until Britain leaves “unofficial" scoping discussions mapping together deals have begun.
And further talks are due to open with the new US President Donald Trump's administration which has put Britain at the “front of the queue" for a trade deal and relegated the failing EU to the back.
Since the referendum, more than £16 billion has been invested in the UK from overseas
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox
Dr Fox said the UK would champion free trade in a world where decades of progress to open up markets was under threat.
The senior minister said: "Trade ministers have visited 55 countries, promoting UK exports of goods and services and encouraging investment.
"Since the referendum, more than £16 billion has been invested in the UK from overseas; a clear vote of confidence.
‘Since joining the EU, trade as a percentage of GDP has stagnated in the UK, says Dr Fox
"At the same time, we are exploiting new trade opportunities and discussing the possible shape of new agreements once we have left the EU.
"While we remain members we will fulfil our current commitment to push forward trade deals with Japan and Canada, and support international agreements on services and environmental goods.
"But when we leave, we will want to develop new arrangements with countries such as 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."
Mrs May has said the UK will leave the single market and has ruled out retaining full membership of the customs union – which ministers hope will give the country the freedom to secure trade deals.
Dr Fox said: "Since joining the EU, trade as a percentage of GDP has stagnated in the UK.
"That is why it is time for Britain to get out into the world and rediscover its role as a great, global, trading nation.
"Dozens of countries are preparing to expand their trading links to the UK.
’This Government will never compromise on the prosperity of the UK’ says Dr Fox
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan
Mon, January 16, 2017
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
"As the Foreign Secretary discovered when he visited the United States, the UK is no longer 'at the back of the queue' with our largest single trading partner.
"This Government will never compromise on the prosperity of the UK. We see that Brexit is not a threat to that prosperity, but the key."
The attractiveness of Brexit Britain as an economic destination was highlighted in new figures which showed a surge in tourism from North America.
The number of North American tourists visiting Britain during the third quarter rose to 1.543 million from 1.397 million a year earlier – a more than 10 percent increase.
Their spending increased by 202 million pounds to 1.359 billion pounds, a 17 percent rise that is roughly equivalent to the pound's depreciation against the U.S. dollar between the third quarters of 2015 and 2016.