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Britain’s Trading Future – Liam Fox 27 Feb 2018

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Continuing the trend for Cabinet Ministers making speeches about Brexit, Dr Liam Fox made a speech in London which outlines the Government’s vision for the UK’s commercial future, and our leadership role in the global economy.

Thank you Constantin for the introduction. And thank you to Bloomberg for hosting us in these wonderful surroundings. It is a pleasure to be here today to talk about Britain’s trading future.

The historic decision by the British people to leave the European Union has presented this country with a number of choices about its future global direction. It has generated a great deal of soul-searching and caused a number of important questions to be aired. Some of these relate specifically to the referendum decision itself, others are questions which needed to be addressed anyway but have been brought into sharper focus by that decision.

Where do we see our place in the world?

What sort of economy and what sort of country do we want to be?

What should our influence be in global affairs and global trade?

How will we generate the income we will need to ensure a prosperous and secure future for the generations that come after us?

Since the referendum vote and the creation of the Department for International Trade, my ministerial team and I have undertaken over 150 overseas visits, to all parts of the globe, to old friends and new allies alike and to markets large and small. From across the world, the keenness to deepen trade and investment ties with this country and once again hear us champion the case for free trade, is palpable.

And why should that surprise us?

The United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest and most successful economies. We are at record levels of employment. Our success is underpinned by a legal system whose reputation is second to none. We have a skilled workforce and a low tax and a well-regulated economy. We are home to some of the world’s finest universities, our research and development capabilities are cutting-edge and our financial institutions world-leading. We are in the right time zone to trade with Asia in the morning and the United States in the afternoon, and, of course, we speak English, the language of global business.

Comments by Donald Tusk 23 February 2018

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I noted the following comments by Donald Tusk following the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government on 23 February 2018. This meeting was being held to discuss the political priorities of the EU in the post-2020 multiannual budget.

On Brexit Negotiations:

Today I have also informed the leaders that I will present the draft guidelines on the future EU-UK relationship at the March summit. Our intention is to adopt these guidelines, whether the UK is ready with its vision of our future relations, or not. Naturally it would be much better if it were. But we cannot stand by and wait. I hope to have some more clarity about the UK’s plans next week, when I meet Prime Minister May in London.

and

I’m glad that the UK government seems to be moving towards a more detailed position. However, if the media reports are correct, I am afraid that the UK’s position today is based on pure illusion. It looks like the “cake philosophy” is still alive. From the very start there has been a key principle of the EU27 that there can be no “cherry picking” and no single market “à la carte”. This is and will continue to be a key principle without any doubt. Next week I will meet PM May in London to discuss the UK’s position and in March the EU27 will adopt new guidelines as regard the future relationship. I’m absolutely sure that we’ll be extremely realistic, as 27, in our assessment of possible new proposals.

Draft Text For Discussion: Implementation Period

A document Draft Text For Discussion: Implementation Period has been published (21 February 2018) that sets out the UK’s approach to the legal text of the implementation period to be provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement.

In order to aid swift and effective negotiation it sets out a number of proposed amendments to the European Commission’s position paper of 7 February 2018, “Transitional arrangements in the withdrawal agreement”.

It is intended to support further discussions between the parties on detailed arrangements for the implementation period (‘the Period’), with the aim of reaching agreement at March European Council

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-text-for-discussion-implementation-period

David Davis Speech in Vienna 20 February 2018

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David Davis gave a speech on delivering our Future Economic Partnership (with the EU) in Vienna on 20 February 2018.

Good morning.

It’s a pleasure to be here in Vienna. A city which, like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and of course London, has earned its status as one of Europe’s truly global cities. These are places which shape the nations in which they are situated.

And the ideas and values of those of us who are proud to call ourselves Europeans — as well as being Austrian, French, German, Dutch or indeed British.

I suspect that nowhere is that more true than Vienna, which has a long history as a capital of ideas. Indeed, I suspect that when the Vienna Circle gathered in the Cafe Central in this city, they produced more challenging ideas in a day than many universities do in a decade. Ideas that form the intellectual basis of modern politics. These global cities bring us together.

This week alone, in London’s great universities, students from across Europe will be taught the ideas of the Austrian School of Economics. While your incredible Vienna State Opera will see a leading English soprano star in work by Handel, a Londoner born in Germany. And just this morning tens of thousands of Austrians will go to work to earn a living from companies which are owned or headquartered in the United Kingdom. These are the current, lived, shared experiences, and they point the way to a shared future which will continue after Brexit.

Now I know that since our Referendum much thought, throughout Europe, has gone into what Britain’s relationship with the European Union really means. Whether a close partnership is really possible with a nation that, by the decision of its people, is leaving the structures designed to produce such a relationship.

And whether Britain is going to be the same country it has been in the past. Dependable, Open, Fair,

A bastion of Parliamentary democracy, And a defender of liberty, and the rule of law. Well, to cut to the chase — we are.

We were before we joined the European Union, we are while we are members, and we will be after we have left.

And I’m here to explain not just why we must continue to work together as the closest of partners and friends, but also how we should go about doing it. We are currently negotiating the Implementation Period, a crucial bridge to our new partnership. And next month we will start detailed discussions on exactly how our new relationship will look, which is why this tour of Europe is happening today. But before we begin that process I believe there are two important principles which can help us point in the right direction.

The first is Britains determination to lead a race to the top in global standards. The second is the principle of fair competition, which underpins the best elements of the European economy, and which we must work hard to spread.

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