Build trade with the COMMONWEALTH now we’re FREE from EU, urges MP in new report

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James Cleverly, co author of Reconnecting with the Commonwealth: the UK’s free trade opportunities blames our link to the EU for stalling potentially lucrative trade deals with the historic partners.

In a pamphlet that he co-wrote with Tim Hewish from the Royal Commonwealth Society, Mr Cleverly argues the vote to leave the EU offers the country a chance to begin new talks that could strengthen links with its old trading partners.

He said: “[Here is a] roadmap to ensure we prioritise agreements with the economies most ready do so, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore.

“It also highlights that a trade deal with traditionally more protectionist India could increase two-way trade by 26 per cent.

“An important part of our plan is an explicit commitment not to ignore the smaller and less developed economies of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Commonwealth countries.”

He harks back to the time when these countries changed from the British Empire to commonwealth nations and says they have enjoyed rapid economic success since then.

He believes the multi-cultural countries scattered accross the globe which have a combined population of 2.3 billion people could be an untapped resource of income.

The commonwealth’s share of GDP overtook the EU in 2004, and he argues that these nations offer scope to do business that the British government must now tap into.

Tony Abbott Getty

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the Brexit vote showed Britain is “great”

Mr Cleverly wants Liam Fox and the Department for International Trade to take on board his recommendations and launch new business partnerships.

He is calling on the Government to produce a white paper to explore his ideas on international trade.

And he is not the first to encourage Britain to adopt this idea.

In the foreword to the pamphlet he wrote, former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said that the Brexit vote showed that Britain is a “great country” that is ready to become a global leader.

Liam FoxGetty

Cleverly wants Liam Fox to take on board his recommendations

He urged Prime Minister Theresa May to explore rebuilding UK links with Commonwealth countries like his own to maximise the potential benefits from new trading links outside the EU.

Mr Abbott wrote in the foreword: ”Brexit means that Britain is back.”

“The country that gave the world the English language, common law and the Mother of Parliaments is once more to seize its destiny as a global leader.

“This is an exciting time for Britain and an exhilarating one for the countless millions elsewhere who appreciate Britain’s unique contribution to western civilisation.”