Oral Question: Free Trade Agreement Progress with Non EU Countries

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John Stevenson: I appreciate that negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU is a priority, but will the Minister confirm that we will also look to reach free trade agreements with other countries, that such negotiations are either under way or will be shortly, and that we have the civil service capacity to reach them?

Michael Gove: My hon. Friend makes a very good point. Yes, we do—the Department for International Trade has a team of trade negotiators, lawyers and other policy experts. There have already been a number of informal and formal contacts with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and other participants in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and we will proceed at pace with negotiations with partners across the globe to forge free trade agreements in the interests of every part of the United Kingdom.

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