Bryant – May’s China trip postponement shows we can’t depend on imaginary trade deals

Commenting on reports that Theresa May’s visit to China has been postponed, Chris Bryant MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:


“Leave campaigners told us we’d be front of the queue for a trade deal with China, but it turns out we can’t even get a foot in the door.

“The Government’s evidence-free faith that our trade with Europe can be replaced by speedy trade deals with economies like China and the US has been totally disproved. They don’t have a leg to stand on. Even if it was true, the EU would still be a much more important market for Britain – we sell more to the Republic of Ireland than we do to China.

“It’s time for Ministers to stop betting the house on imaginary trade deals and concentrate on protecting trade with the EU – our most important economic partner which buys almost half of everything we export.”



Notes to editors:

Leave campaigners pledged that Britain could negotiate a trade deal with China soon after Brexit:

“After we Vote Leave, we would immediately be able to start negotiating new trade deals with emerging economies and the world’s biggest economies (the US, China and Japan, as well as Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and so on), which could enter into force immediately after the UK leaves the EU.” 
Vote Leave press release, 15 June 2016

“The first order of business is to put that right.  As the amicable statements coming from the US, Australia, China and India show, these countries are as keen to knock down trade barriers as we are.”
David Davis, Conservative Home, 14 July 2016

“So within two years, before the negotiation with the EU is likely to be complete, and therefore before anything material has changed, we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU.  Trade deals with the US and China alone will give us a trade area almost twice the size of the EU.”
David Davis, Conservative Home, 14 July 2016