Following our exit from the European Union, Britain will have to take responsibility for its own trade policy and securing its own trade agreements for the first time in fifty years.
Five decades ago, the drivers of trade policy were almost exclusively economic and strategic. While such drivers apply equally today, we also now have the chance – and indeed the obligation – to ensure that our trade agreements also work to protect our environment, promote international development, and stop the abuse of human rights around the world.
Next Tuesday 8 December, I will be delighted to host a virtual Trade Forum to discuss how we should approach the issue of trade in a post-Brexit world. We will be hearing from leading UK and international figures; independent experts, business and union leaders, and human rights and environmental activists.
You can register to join the event and ask questions by clicking the following link: https://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/building-britains-trading-future
In the next few days, I will be introducing the four sessions of the forum, along with our panellists. First up is the panel “Promoting UK trade and investment”, where a selection of leading economists, trade experts and lawyers will discuss how, despite the challenges of Brexit, Britain can seek to secure jobs, growth and new markets, while maintaining its appeal as a location for foreign direct investment,
Our panellists include:
- Andy Burwell; the Director for International Trade and Investment at the CBI, the UK’s representative body for British industry, covering 190,000 businesses.
- Nick Ashton-Hart; the Geneva Representative for the Digital Trade Network and Special Adviser, Global Internet Policy for the ICC United Kingdom
- Tim Ward; a Trade Policy Consultant and Director at NPTW Consultants, a former trade negotiator and WTO representative for the Australian government, and former senior adviser to the Department for International Trade (2017-2019).
- Farmida Bi CBE; the EMEA Chair of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, with more than 25 years’ experience in capital markets and Islamic finance. She is the UK’s first female Chair of a major law firm, and was awarded the CBE earlier this year.
I am greatly looking forward to the discussion, and I hope you will be able to join us.