We’ll make Britain a top trader without bowing to a permanent customs union


THIS great country has a proud trading record. For more than 300 years the best of Britain has been sold around the world.

It’s made Brits wealthier and boosted our standing. From Pakistan to Poland, Israel to Ireland and South Africa to Switzerland, people enjoy the best of British.

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Jeremy Hunt vows to make Britain a top trader without bowing to the European Union[/caption]

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International Trade Secretary Liam Fox pledges to ‘wrap up Brexit as quickly as possible’[/caption]

But there is undoubtedly more to do to turbocharge trade. That’s why we are guaranteeing that under our leadership, Britain will never join a permanent customs union and instead seek to negotiate a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal.

This means Britain will enjoy a fully independent trade policy to compete with the world’s biggest players.

It is simply not good enough for a country as productive as ours to hand over its trade policy to the European Union.

We intend to leave the EU with optimism and confidence. Britain can walk tall in the world with the lowest corporation taxes to attract business, a £15billion boost for our armed forces and a competitive free trade policy.

We will have political leadership at the heart of our team from the start of the negotiation with the EU.

We want to be a truly Global Britain and this cannot be done on the cheap

Jeremy Hunt

This will include the best and brightest, like world class negotiator Crawford Falconer. And there will be no need for a Department for Exiting the European Union.

So we will fold these resources into a beefed-up Department for International Trade and Digital Enterprise.

We want to be a truly Global Britain and this cannot be done on the cheap. We need to be competitive so we will increase our trade footprint overseas by doubling the International Trade department budget.

So we must wrap up Brexit as quickly as possible. It’s an urgent priority and that will be our unrelenting focus until it is done.

We both voted three times to leave the EU and if others had done the same we would have left by now. We don’t see Brexit as a problem to be solved but as the most amazing opportunity for our country.


It is a task which will require confidence, craft, vision and attention to detail. It will require the promotion of some relationships and the resetting of others.

And let us make one other thing clear: that team will never include the Labour front bench, which is hell bent on blocking Brexit.

There are a few other things about our Brexit plan that readers should know. If we leave without a deal – not an ideal outcome but one that must remain an option – the full £39billion divorce payment will not be handed over.

We will not pay a penny more than is legally required. Anyone who thinks we are going to write a blank cheque to the EU is sorely mistaken. To leave we need an experienced deal maker.

Perhaps one who delivered a smooth Olympic Games in 2012. Perhaps a deal maker who delivered £350million a week for the NHS after winning a battle with the Treasury.


Perhaps a deal maker who is already around the table with European leaders as Foreign Secretary.

So today our solemn promise is this: We must be able to demonstrate real progress with the EU by the middle of October. If no agreement is in sight by then we will press ahead with No Deal.

No one sensible wants this outcome, but if it’s a choice between no Brexit or No Deal then we will never betray the democratic mandate that Brexit won in 2016.

  • Jeremy Hunt is Foreign Secretary and PM candidate, Dr Liam Fox is International Trade Secretary.


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