MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
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.

Bracknell Forest News Column: Tuesday, 21 February 2017

First and foremost I am a constituency MP, and it is an honour to represent the Windsor constituency and her constituents in Parliament.  But, in 2016 I was given additional responsibility when I was appointed the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys – there are currently 21 covering around 50 markets – support the drive for economic growth by building upon our existing international trading relationships.

Ghana’s warm reception shows the opportunities for post-Brexit Britain

Having just returned from a flying visit to Ghana with the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, I thought I’d make some encouraging observations about UK-Ghana relations.

My role, as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, it to boost our trading relationship with Ghana. It is notable that our Foreign Secretary chose Ghana as one of his destinations on his first visit to the region.

I am pleased to report that the meetings we held with President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Ministers were as warm and cordial as they were productive and workmanlike.

This was my second trip to Ghana in as many months, the first being in January as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government at President Akufo-Addo’s Inauguration.

Like every other Ghanaian election in recent memory, the 2016 Presidential and General Elections were universally recognised as being free and fair, and the transfer of power, despite a close result, was peaceful and successful.

Good democracies make for good trading partners and Britain’s trade with Ghana is booming. Bilateral trade re-crossed the £1bn threshold in 2015 and there is every reason to expect that figure to climb especially with the level of engagement at the highest levels of Government.

There are great opportunities for British investors in Ghana and a huge range of businesses where investors can find a home. We are world leaders across many of the sectors that Ghana seeks market expertise in; from financial, professional and technology services to the creative industries, aerospace, construction and even bridge building. There is huge potential to enhance our trading partnership over the coming years.

The new Ghanaian administration are quite clear: they want to see the private sector create the jobs and prosperity needed to boost the Ghanaian economy. This desire has be encapsulated into a manifesto commitment to see a factory in every district and the UK is well positioned to assist with both investment and expertise.

Post-Brexit Britain is very much open for business and we stand to benefit as much as the Ghanaian people.

To find out more about opportunities for UK businesses overseas visit the Exporting is Great website.