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Opinions & Interviews

5 Feb 2020

Ambassador: UK is working on increasing trade with Belarus

Ambassador: UK is working on increasing trade with Belarus
Jacqueline Perkins. An archive photo

MINSK, 5 February (BelTA) – The United Kingdom seeks to increase trade with Belarus, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Belarus Jacqueline Perkins told journalists answering a question of a BelTA journalist.

The diplomat noted that they are working on it jointly with the Belarusian Embassy in the UK.

“Bilateral relations have been on the rise in recent years. I believe we will be able to maintain momentum. I hope for a vibrant trade with Belarus,” she said. Belarus and the United Kingdom signed documents on understanding and trade and economic cooperation that provide for establishment of the intergovernmental Trade Dialogue.

When asked how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact Belarus-UK relations, the diplomat said that she does not expect any changes.

One of the key topics of the press conference was the British withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January, 47 years after it joined the union. “It was decided on a referendum that took place in 2016. After the referendum, the UK government put forward the idea of 'Global Britain'. It is the government’s vision for the UK’s future outside the EU. The withdrawal from the European Union offers us an opportunity to demonstrate what Global Britain is; it will redefine UK’s relations with its partners in the EU and around the world; it will bring in trade agreements on new markets, which will reaffirm that Great Britain is a liberal nation committed to free trade; the withdrawal also means defending our strong moral principles. At the same time Britain will remain focused on the key points of the current agenda and will play its role in building a better, safer and more fair world,” the UK ambassador said.

Jacqueline Perkins emphasized that Britain “is forging new partnerships in Europe that are based on friendship and cooperation, but with a bigger democratic autonomy and a clear and independent voice that enables it to speak up and act to achieve what is important for the country”. “At the same time, we are fully aware that the security of Europe is the security of Great Britain, which is proved by our leadership in NATO and intensive cooperation with European partners. We are a nation with ambitious goals, we are driven by new ideas and are determined to take advantage of new opportunities,” the ambassador said.

She expressed confidence that “Great Britain will spearhead the development of free trade that will benefit businesses, cut costs for consumers and help the poorest nations achieve true economic independence”.

The United Kingdom outside the EU is going to sign large-scale trade deals with countries around the world – starting from a free trade agreement with the EU by the example of Canada and up to trade deals with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the USA and other nations.

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