Monday 28 June 2021 / 12:09 PM Emily Thornberry

“Head-in-the-sand strategy” on trade is costing Britain, says Thornberry

Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s Shadow International Trade Secretary, responding to the new Institute of Directors survey on the impact of Brexit on UK business reported in the Financial Times, said:

“This survey exposes the fundamental problem with the government’s current trade strategy. They say we can ignore the losses facing British firms doing business in Europe because new trade deals with the rest of the world are filling the void, but that is clearly nonsense.

“Last week, they launched negotiations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which as things stand, according to their own figures, will add just £400 million – or 0.017 per cent – to GDP, over a 15-year period. That is a tiny fraction of the trade being lost with Europe as a result of the red tape, customs checks, shipping costs and labour shortages highlighted by this survey.

“But instead of trying to work with British business and our European counterparts to fix those problems, the government is ignoring them, and saying that is not their current priority when it comes to trade. It is a head-in-the-sand strategy, for which British businesses and workers are paying the price.”