Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt insists UK trade with EU is 'bouncing back from the pandemic'

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Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt has insisted the UK is ‘bouncing back from the pandemic’, amid warnings the Government is ‘embarking on a wholly unnecessary trade war’ with the EU.

Speaking during Commons International Trade questions, Labour’s Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) raised concerns over businesses ‘struggling with increased red tape when exporting to EU member states’.

She said: ‘We have heard this morning frankly staggering attempts to present a dreadful UK-EU trade context as some kind of triumph.

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‘It simply won’t wash with my constituents… who are struggling with increased red tape when exporting to EU member states. Rather than building stronger trade links with our closest neighbours, ministers are now ripping up the agreement they negotiated and risking a trade war with the EU.

Penny MordauntPenny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt
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‘What is the secretary of state doing to improve trading links with EU and end disruption for businesses?’

Trade minister, Ms Mordaunt replied: ‘I’m afraid the figures don’t bear out what (she) is saying. The increase in exports of goods to the EU… has in part been driven by a 8.1 per cent increase in exports from the UK to EU in April, up on the March figures.

‘We are bouncing back from the pandemic and the difficulties that have been there as we have changed our border and we have left the EU. The country is improving on this front and where there remain issues we are determined to get them resolved, whether they’re issues for her local businesses or issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol.’

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