Commenting on today’s agreement on a comprehensive trade deal between the EU and Canada, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said:
“Today’s historic trade deal will give an important boost to growth in Canada and the EU, including long-term economic benefits of over £1.3 billion for the UK.
“This is a blow to those who claim the EU somehow restricts our trade with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. The combined negotiating power of the EU helps us to create jobs by increasing inward investment and opening up new markets for British firms overseas.
“Bringing standards closer together on both sides of the Atlantic is also an important step towards an even bigger prize, a trade deal between the EU and US that could bring up to £10 billion a year to the UK economy.”
Catherine Bearder MEP, Liberal Democrat trade spokesperson in the European Parliament, said:
“By negotiating as the world’s largest trading bloc, the EU has been able to secure important concessions including on the recognition of geographical products – such as West Country cheddar – and the opening up of Canadian government contracts to UK firms. We would never have that sort of clout outside the EU.
“UKIP and many Tories argue we should turn our back on the EU and trade with the Commonwealth. But the EU already has trade agreements with a host of Commonwealth countries.
“The truth is that leaving the EU would jeopardise our trade with both Europe and the rest of the world. Liberal Democrats believe our focus should be on creating jobs by building a more open and competitive EU, not putting them at risk by pulling out.”