Trade agreements with more than 60 countries entered into force today as Britain woke up in charge of its trade policy for the first time in half a century.
The trade deals include continuity agreements with many nations who have rolled over previous agreements covered by Britain’s former EU membership, in addition to brand new deals with nations like Japan.
The free trade agreements reached to date were worth £885bn in 2019.
International trade secretary Liz Truss has promised further deals in 2021, insisting the new year “will see Global Britain take flight, free as a fully independent trading nation to support jobs and opportunity across every corner of the UK through British shaped deals.”
Ms Truss pledged that Britain will become a beacon for “rules-based free trade and real economic dynamism” and revealed her team were working towards gold-standard deals with historic allies, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
The trade secretary also confirmed the “great strides” being made to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), describing it as the “most vibrant trading area on Earth.”
The CPTPP is a free trade area established in 2018 between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
A recent Department for International Trade report revealed trade between the UK and CPTPP countries has grown on average by 6% since 2009 and was worth £112bn in 2019.
“There is a world of opportunity out there and I am looking forward to going further and faster to seize it”, Truss concluded.