MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Let’s engage with Africa to build Britain’s new trading future

The UK was built on international trade and commerce and, as we leave the EU, we will re-embrace once again our historic tradition of trading with every corner of the globe. And I am constantly reminded that a key part of the future of Britain’s trade is with Africa.

Too often we view Africa mainly through the prism of foreign aid instead of as a continent with the potential to be equal partners in trade.

Windsor MP asks questions on international development in Parliament

On Wednesday 18th October Adam asked the Department for International Development for an update on the work being made to ensure the UK continues to promote development in Commonwealth countries (11:49:26 to 11:51:10):

 

International Development Questions, 18th October:

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): 6. What steps she is taking to promote development in other Commonwealth countries.

Rory Stewart (Minister of State for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Prime Minister and Secretary of State have made it clear that the Commonwealth is absolutely central to our future policy, and that is not just true in respect of forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings; the 20 largest DFID recipient countries include Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and Sierra Leone, in which our programmes extend from health and education, to economic development, without which there can be no jobs or growth.

Bracknell News Column: Wednesday, 19 July 2017

It’s going to be a busy summer for Ministers, Trade Commissioners and Trade Envoys as new trading relationships are forged and old ones redefined as we leave the EU.

Brexit Minister, David Davis, will have his work cut out in a gruelling series of meetings and document exchanges and, no doubt, responding to various leaks and briefings by those seeking to gain the upper hand.

The groundwork to support his efforts is in place. First, the people voted to leave the EU in the referendum. Second, Parliament voted to empower the Government to trigger Article 50. Third, the Prime Minister gave notice to the EU that we are leaving. Now the Repeal Bill has been published and will repeal the European Communities Act and ensure that control of our laws returns to the UK.

We will also see supplementary legislation to control immigration, set up a new customs system and continue with our international obligations.

Taken together these steps form a comprehensive plan for Britain’s future. The next round of talks, led by David Davis, will get deep into the substance of what needs to be agreed in a mutually beneficial way.

I am particularly pleased that the rights of British and EU citizens is the first priority, so that people can quickly get the re-assurance they need to plan for their futures. The idea that post-Brexit Britain would shun the EU citizens was always a bogus argument and it’s good to see the fears being laid to rest.

Above all, I’m delighted that we have a re-invigorated outward-looking approach to international trade. As the Prime Minister’s trade to Ghana, and having visited other parts of West Africa, it is quite clear to me that our friends abroad are crying out for closer trade a diplomatic relations with the UK.

With Brexit underway, we are now in a position to begin to satisfy the demand for UK investment, goods, services and expertise overseas. We are also able to champion free-trade arrangements from the US to Africa, Asia and Australia and the mutually beneficial boost to jobs and prosperity they bring.

Clearly there will be bumps in the road and an undulating running commentary before a final exit deal is agreed. But I am confident that the Government has the right plan for an internationalist and outward facing Britain and a mutually beneficial deal with our EU friends.

Windsor MP questions the government on trade

On Tuesday 21st February Adam asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an update on the work that they are doing to ensure Brexit leads to better diplomatic relations (52:46 to 53:48):

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions – Tuesday 21st February

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): There were also crowds of people to welcome us when we arrived in Ghana a week or two ago. Although we could not quite work out whether the welcome was for us or for the Minister for Trade and Investment, it was thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless.

It seems to me that the greater the number of trading connections that we forge, particularly in west Africa, the stronger the foundation on which to build good international relations will be. Does my right hon. Friend agree that withdrawal from the European customs union will give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost our diplomatic relations worldwide?

Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): I thank my hon. Friend for his work as trade envoy to Ghana. Indeed, I thank all our trade envoys, who do a fantastic job around the world. It is thanks to the efforts of my colleague the Minister for Trade and Investment and others that we are seeing increased trade with countries such as Ghana, and I was very proud to see British firms operating there. I believe that the largest single private sector employer in Ghana is a firm run by a Brit. We should all be proud of the contribution that those firms are making.