Liz Truss: Trade deals could be locked in ‘within months’

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Liz Truss said she was confident she could make a deal with allies including Australia, Japan and the United States “within months” once Britain leaves the European Union.

The Trade Secretary told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer such deals should not take years to be arranged.

“The United States have just done a trade deal with Canada and Mexico and that took them a year to negotiate, and that’s a fully comprehensive deal,” she said.

“Countries like Australia can be even faster in terms of the time they take to negotiate deals. So certainly there are many deals available and I think we could do them relatively rapidly.”

She added: “To me it’s the appetite that both countries have to get those deals done that is what drives the agenda.”

Ms Truss said she expected to strike a free trade deal with the EU similar to the agreement signed with Canada in 2016.

Despite negotiations concluding in 2014 and all EU member states approving the Canada deal, it is still yet to take full effect.

Ms Truss said the EU showed a free-trade deal with a non-member is “perfectly possible”.

“I think a free trade deal is where we’re headed and it’s what we want. We want a Canada-style deal where we’re not tied into regulatory harmonisation with the EU but we do have strong links,” she said.

“We have zero tariffs on goods, we are able to sell our services and vice versa, that’s the type of deal we want.”

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