Liam Fox said informal discussions have begun
In spite of stern warnings from the EU not to conduct formal trade talks before Britain triggers Article 50, the International Trade Secretary said it is in "Britain's national interest" to begin discussions.
He confirmed Britain is in informal talks, launching working trade groups with Australia, China, the Gulf States, New Zealand, South Korea and a trade audit with India.
In a further boost to post-Brexit Britain, the trade secretary also revealed UK officials will be visiting Washington this week to discuss a free trading agreemet with Donald Trump's administration.
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Liam Fox told a trading committee the UK is in a number of talks with world countries
It would be against Britain's national interests for us not to discuss with future trade partners what those trade agreements might be
The UK will also be opening trade huts in San Diego, Raleigh-Durham and Minneapolis in the US.
When quizzed over EU regulations, Dr Fox told an International trade committee: "The legal positon of any country in the EU is bound by common commercial policy.
"However we have made it clear we are leaving EU, and in time Article 50 will triggered shortly.
"There is no precedent for this, we have said we all abide by duties for cooperation and while we are members of EU will push for trade liberalisation.
"However it would be against Britain's national interests for us not to discuss with future trade partners what those trade agreements might be."
Dr Fox's optimistic approach comes after Theresa May’s 12-point Brexit speech 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.
He also revealed he is also in financial talks with Qatar in the Middle East.
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan Mon, January 16, 2017
It's finally here!
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
Martin Donnelly, Secretary of the Department for International Trade
He said: "We have a number of ways that we can do that, a number of different arrangements with a number of different countries depending what we see is for a potential of an agreement in an early time frame.
"So we will be discussing and scoping out future agreements with countries. We won't be signing legal documents but the Government is there to do what is good for the United Kingdom's national interest."
When pushed on how Britain's trading team is shaping up, Secretary of the Department for International Trade, Martin Donnelly said the UK has been talking to "friendly countries around the world who do trading negotiations" including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and Mexico.
He said: "We have been learning from them what a 21st century trading team looks like."
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