20 JUL 2018

Post Brexit Trade

Back in 2005 I spent two weeks travelling around India developing new international business for my UK legal practice. It was a somewhat daunting step into the unknown, having never been to India before, but I came home with new clients and valuable new relationships with businesses in three major cities.

As a British professional practice my firm was viewed with a default position of trust, quality and good governance. Brexit will help unlock the enormous potential of Brand UK for businesses right across the country, opening up access to emerging markets around the globe. Brand UK is enormously powerful and our exports are diverse, innovative and internationally respected. We are in a fantastic position to make the most of the challenges which lie ahead.

To that end our Parliament debated two Bills this week, helping pave the way for Britain to trade globally, whilst seeking to maintain close and important links with the vital EU marketplace. The Government is also right to have negotiated a transition arrangement, which will ensure that businesses have the time to adjust to changes in our trade arrangements after Brexit and give companies time to plan and make the most of the opportunities available.

Free trade, is not, however, just about providing opportunities for our businesses to grow, it is also about our way of life. It boosts global growth, increases connectivity and underpins our democratic values. It fosters political stability and helps to make the world a safer, more prosperous place.

It is therefore concerning that President Trump has used his visit to Europe to ramp up his protectionist rhetoric. This, added to the significant increase in tariffs he has instigated, is a threat to global prosperity. I hope that he may reflect, following his discussions with European leaders, and understand that free trade benefits his people in America just as much as it does us here in Maidstone and the Weald.

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Helen's column

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