Britain must ‘become a negotiating nation again’, urges Commerce secretary

Now, she is determined to use the nation’s expertise in shipbuilding and marine engineering to “support allies” elsewhere who want to defend their own freedom, like the Ukrainians.

When asked if she viewed Britain’s ability to build and sell warships a key pillar in the government’s strategy to counter Moscow, she diplomatically dodged the question: “We want to work. with allies and friends at all levels, ”she said.

Speaking of opportunities for collaboration with NATO nations and other allies, she said: “We can bring skills that they just don’t have available to them at the national level to help them develop this” . It brings the added benefit of helping the UK to ‘strengthen and develop its own capabilities for our defense needs’.

The Commerce Secretary is taking an equally cautious line on Beijing, saying Britain wants more bilateral trade with China – which it has described as a “big” and “important” trading partner.

At the same time, she stressed the need to “think about how we choose investors and how we trade” in “strategic areas” – reflecting the government’s abandonment of permission to participate. of Beijing in sensitive domestic sectors in recent years, amid security fears.

She also acknowledged that “the challenge of market distortion is undoubtedly very real” when asked about concerns about some of China’s business practices, such as its role in the global overproduction of steel and aluminum.

While critics deride the World Trade Organization as an ineffective discussion forum, Trevelyan insists it “remains the right place for these global conversations” on resolving trade friction.

“No merchandise will be sold on our shelves that does not meet our high standards”

In a dispute closer to home over animal welfare standards – and whether they are to be kept in trade deals to protect UK farmers, or liberalized to allow cheap meats to be imported to help British families in difficulty – she is strongly in favor of maintaining restrictions.

“We continue, and rightly so, to have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and I think that’s great,” she said.

“No product will be sold on our shelves that does not meet our high standards. It is not in question.

The trade deals she seeks to target next year will provide “incredible opportunities” for UK farmers to sell their meat and farm products abroad, she added. It comes after a controversy erupted over a trade deal between Britain and Australia that critics say will lower animal welfare and food standards, hurting British agriculture.

In the raging battle between the ‘Waitrose Tories’, who are seen as protectionists supporting high-quality but expensive local produce from UK farms, and the ‘Lidl Tories’, free traders who insist that standards food can be combined with imports cheaply on the shelves, looks like Ms. Trevelyan is supporting the first.

She laughed and protested, “I’m a curator of Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. This is what we have in the Northeast.

Warming up to her theme, she added: “You go to Waitrose because you want to buy something, but you always go out with all kinds of nice stuff and you’ve spent £ 50. It’s crazy. I can not do that. I’ve done this once or twice in my life and I’m like, ‘No, urgh, that wasn’t the plan!’ I’m a Sainsbury’s or Morrisons girl.

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