Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt denies reports only six post-Brexit deals will be signed off by March 29

A PORTSMOUTH MP has denied reports that only six post-Brexit deals will be signed off by the time Britain leaves the EU. 

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt denied the reported figures were true, in response to Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson, who demanded assurances any trade deals are properly vetted at Department for International Development (DfID) questions.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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Ms Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) said: ‘As we learned today only six of the promised 40 trade deals will actually be in place by the end of March it seems the International Trade Secretary is in competition with the Transport Secretary for who can do the worst job.

‘What assurance can this Secretary of State give the House that impact assessments of social, environmental and human rights of any trade deals before they come into force?’

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Ms Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, said: ‘What she says is not the case... the numbers she gave are not accurate.

‘But our first priority is obviously trade continuity and after that we will be able to introduce the UK trade preference scheme which will grant duty-free, quota-free access to 48 least developed countries and it will also grant generous tariff reductions to around a further 25.’