The Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit last week was the best I have heard by a British politician in recent memory. It was visionary about our place in the world yet robust and down to earth – a fine example of strong and well-judged strategic thinking.
As the Prime Minister put it, the referendum was ‘a vote to restore our parliamentary democracy, national self-determination and to become even more global and internationalist in action and spirit.’ For too long the EU has had a ‘vice-like’ grip on our sovereignty, trade and immigration.
As one of the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy’s, I know how important trade is to our economy. We have a proud international trading heritage and so the prospect of becoming ‘a global Britain’ and getting ‘out, and into the world’ once again is hugely exciting.
Free Trade is the best trade option for Britain and I welcome the Prime Minister’s desire to see access for our goods and services to the Single Market, but without being subject to the restrictions that full membership would bring. Indeed, the ballot paper didn’t ask the electorate if Britain should remain in the EU or be an associate member of the EU. The option was in or out.
I particularly welcome mention of alternative options should we encounter difficulty. This display of the British bulldog spirit in our dealings with the EU is, not only, confidence inspiring and long overdue, it is also the best way to start a negotiation. Indeed, the use of World Trading Organisation (WTO) rules, deregulation and the cutting UK tax is always a rather good option for UK businesses.
Like the Prime Minister then, I look forward to forging ahead and making every effort to support getting the best deal for Britain.
- Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
- He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
- He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
- He was Shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
- He is Patron of the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) and was Chair of the PSC between 2010 and 2015.