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Advisory groups set up to help inform UK post-Brexit trade talks

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Political Reporter

A number of new advisory groups have been set up to support the UK’s post-Brexit trade talks, it has been announced.

The UK’s Department for International Trade has set up 11 groups covering a range of areas, such as investment, life sciences, and financial services, to help advise on negotiations.

Advice given by organisations and stakeholders comprising the groups will then be used to help inform the Government’s negotiating position.

It comes as ministers seek to step up talks with countries including Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Negotiators hope that the advice will help them to secure new market access on products like ceramics, cars, steel and beef, as well as agreeing cutting-edge digital trade rules.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said that the Government wants to strike deals benefiting “every part” of the UK.

“This is about bringing business closer to the negotiating table and using their expertise to help secure the best possible deals that deliver jobs and growth across Britain,” said Ms Truss.

“Talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand are entering their crucial latter stages, so it is only right that we step up engagement with vital industries to utilise their technical and strategic expertise.”

“I want business in Britain to feel engaged and informed about the work we’re doing to build an independent trade policy and how it impacts them.”

“As we recover from coronavirus we want to strike deals that benefit every part of the country so we can build back better and deliver a fairer country for all.”

Miles Celic, chief executive officer of financial services group TheCityUK, and a member of two of the groups, said: “The UK has a great opportunity to pursue a new generation of ambitious and innovative trade agreements.”

“For financial and related professional services, a focus in those deals on enhancing liberalisation of trade in services will be key.

“It would also further strengthen the UK’s world-leading position as a global trading hub and premier international financial centre.”

“I am very pleased to join two of the new trade advisory groups – closer consultation with industry will help develop our national ambitions and priorities and ultimately best support UK economic recovery in the aftermath of Covid-19.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The UK has a unique opportunity to shape its trade policy and trade relationships globally. Now is the time to champion British businesses and brands internationally.”

“The TAG will allow industry to be part of the new trade agenda and help pinpoint drivers for success both domestically and globally.”

“We have a proud innovative beer heritage here in the UK. These new relationships will help us build that reputation, champion the best of British and secure new opportunities in new markets.”

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