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  1. ITV Report

Liam Fox: UK has golden opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in world

  • Video report by ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said the UK has a "golden opportunity" for free trade outside of the European Union in the wake of Brexit.

In a speech in Manchester, Mr Fox said: "Today we stand on the verge of an unprecedented ability to liberate global trade for the benefit for our whole planet."

But he added: "This bright future is being darkened by the shadows of protectionism and retrenchment and history teaches us that such trends do not bode well for the future."

Mr Fox insisted that his message was a simple one: "The UK has a golden opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in world, one which puts the British people first."

"Fair trade is fundamental to the prosperity of the United Kingdom and the world economy."

Britain may look to model Canada which has a free-trading relationship with the EU.
  • Britain must seek bespoke trade agreements

The trade secretary also said the global influence that Britain enjoys is largely due to its "proud trading history".

He also stressed that moving forward towards Brexit, trading arrangements need to be secured that are at least as free as before.

Mr Fox added that UK must be ready to look at bespoke bilateral and multi-lateral trading arrangements rather than rely on World Trade Organisation rules.

"Where progress has stalled at the multi-lateral level, the UK must be ready to look to more bespoke..bilateral arrangements to ensure that the global market place remains fair and free," he said.