Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley: Can my right hon. Friend, whom I congratulate on his appointment, confirm that were we to remain in the EU we would stand little prospect of trade deals with the two largest countries in the world—India and China? China is not agreeing to open negotiations with the EU and India has broken them off. Outside, we can follow the example of Switzerland, which already has a free trade agreement with China and is going ahead to negotiate one with India?


    Liam Fox: Switzerland is still negotiating its trade agreement with India, but my right hon. Friend is correct that leaving the EU will give the UK greater freedom to strike its own trade agreements, including with some of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world. As he will well know, these will not necessarily be straightforward, as these countries are tough negotiators, but it would be much simpler to negotiate a bilateral agreement, and they have shown greater willingness to negotiate a bilateral deal outside the complications that sometimes come with an EU free trade agreement, which is often a political agreement rather than a pure FTA.