Blog: Penny Mordaunt shocks Belgian trade delegation saying ‘Brexit is good for you, too!’ – Express

Ms Mordaunt was hosting a delegation led by Princess Astrid of Belgium which was in the UK to discuss trade and investment. While Brussels, the Belgian capital, is also the home to the EU bureaucracy, the UK and Belgium have had strong trade historic links through their major ports.

While relations with some other EU countries, such as France, have been fraught with tensions because of Brexit, Ms Mordaunt decided to take a direct approach with the host country of the EU to explain why it was good news for them too.

She told the delegation: “While I appreciate Brexit was not to everyone’s liking, it does highlight certain qualities that are helpful to business. Knowing that the government does what the people tell it to do. Whatever you think of Brexit, it helped to reinforce the belief that governments are the servants of the people. Never the other way around.

“So change has come to our trading relationships. It has happened and we are adjusting. Change offers unprecedented opportunities for fresh thinking in business. Change is the fuel that entrepreneurial companies need.”

She went on: “Whilst the UK has set a new path, we’re committed to close trading ties with Belgium and the rest of Europe. We remain strong friends and allies. After the Ukrainian war, now more than ever, we respect each other’s commitment to democracy.

“A relationship based on zero tariffs and zero quotas under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“A relationship we are building on through meaningful engagement to make sure the deal delivers on its promise of free, fair, and plentiful trade.”

Ms Mordaunt also pointed to the £900million that Belgian firms invested in the UK in the past year alone.

“It is testament to the work we have already done,” she added.

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And she called on Belgian companies to increase their links with Britain, pointing out that the UK’s major trade deals starting with Australia and New Zealand are big opportunities for them operating in Britain too.

She said: “Belgium can and should see the UK as a means to access global opportunities – from the US to the Indo-Pacific.

By operating in the UK, Belgian businesses will be able to benefit from the network of Free Trade Agreements we are now signing outside of the EU.

The UK has already agreed deals with Australia and New Zealand. One of the Bills announced in the Queen’s speech today will bring those deals into effect.

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Ms Mordaunt has hit the headlines in recent weeks for her work in brokering 20 trade deals in the US with individual states.

The deals which began with Indiana and will later this year include Texas – the seventh biggest GDP in the world – are a sign of Brexit making gains for the UK.

The Government also unveiled the bill to put the trade deals with New Zealand and Australia into law in the Queen’s speech.

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