UK trade markets 'growing faster than EU markets' says Truss
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The International Trade Secretary will tell European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis the bloc has let Beijing get away with too much for too long. She wants to form a post-Brexit alliance with Brussels to challenge the superpower and force it to “play fair and clean up its act”. Ms Truss will also offer to use Global Britain’s influence to help end a decades-long trade dispute between the EU and US.
A Whitehall source said: “Liz is keen to build a much closer personal relationship with Dombrovskis and work hand-in-glove on the huge issues facing global trade – including making trade green and tackling China’s appalling behaviour.
“She’s over in Brussels to find areas where the UK and EU can work more closely together, particularly on challenging China to play fair and clean up its act.”
Ms Truss believes Britain can use its influence on the world stage to address the “big knotty” issues preventing truly free trade amongst countries.
In a Brussels meeting with EU trade chief Mr Dombrovskis, the Cabinet minister will stress that can only happen if the bloc agrees to put their differences over Brexit behind them.
Ms Truss will insist that EU chiefs finally treat Britain as a “sovereign equal” after 47 years of membership of the bloc.
The insider added: “Liz sees a role for Britain as the great arbiter and power broker of world trade. Using our influence to bring the likes of the EU and US together to sort out the big knotty issues facing world trade.
“Democracy and free and fair trade has to win the day, and that’ll only happen if we all work together.”
European sources said top eurocrats are ready to work constructively with Britain, including at tomorrow’s G7 meeting, despite a recent spate of post-Brexit disagreements.
Brussels was infuriated when Britain refused to hand special diplomatic status to hundreds of the bloc’s foreign envoys in London.
But one senior EU official conceded: “I think there is room for cooperation. Of course, it’s normal in a new relationship that we have some irritants.
“We have excellent cooperation in the G7 and also on climate and different issues with the United Kingdom.”
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The EU today announced plans to overhaul its own trading strategy to boost the bloc’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Dombrovskis said: “The challenges we face require a new strategy for EU trade policy.
“We need open, rules-based trade to help restore growth and job creation post-COVID-19. Equally, trade policy must fully support the green and digital transformations of our economy and lead global efforts to reform the WTO.
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“It should also give us the tools to defend ourselves when we face unfair trade practices.
“We are pursuing a course that is open, strategic and assertive, emphasising the EU’s ability to make its own choices and shape the world around it through leadership and engagement, reflecting our strategic interests and values.”
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