Following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, the Government has made clear that we will be leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union. This means that the UK will be able to operate a fully independent trade policy. The Department for International Trade is examining options to ensure continued access to trade agreements negotiated by the European Union which the UK is already party to. In addition, the Government has committed to making new free trade agreements more transparent and inclusive.
The Government is determined that the UK will become a world leader in free trade, and ensure that we secure the right deals for the United Kingdom. These bespoke deals will be scrutinised by our Parliament, as are all treaties.
NHS Campaign -
On the specific issue of public healthcare in future trade agreements, the Government is committed to protecting the NHS. The NHS is safeguarded by specific exemptions in all EU trade agreements and, as our country leaves the EU, the UK will continue to ensure that rigorous protections for the NHS are included in all trade agreements it is party to.
The Government is committed to transparency and scrutiny of its trade agreements. Parliament will be able to inform negotiations, be regularly updated, and will ultimately play its role in the ratification of any new Free Trade Agreement through the process set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
Moreover, the Government also had the largest ever response to the public consultation on future free trade agreements and recently held a debate in Parliament on these. I am confident these measures will ensure that both the public and parliamentarians get the chance to have their say on future trade agreements.