Britain will be able to change trade deals after Brexit: May

LONDON/KYOTO: Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday Britain would be able to change the terms of trade deals after Brexit even if it initially replicates trade deals that the European Union has with other countries.
On a visit to Japan, May also said Britain and the EU must focus on their future relationship, “ensuring we can get that trade deal right and also that we can form new trade deals around the rest of the world”.
“Once we’re outside the European Union, even if we start on the basis of an existing trade deal that a country has with the EU, it will be up to the United Kingdom and that country if we wish to renegotiate and change those terms in the future.”
Meanwhile, the British government has rekindled its industrial strategy, unveiled earlier this year to prepare the economy for Brexit, with plans to boost the country’s pharmaceuticals sector via fresh investments and public-private collaborations.
A government-commissioned sector report by immunologist and geneticist John Bell called on Wednesday for more funding of basic science, new incentives for manufacturing, and increased cooperation between drugmakers and the National Health Service (NHS).
Bell also advocates creating a Health Advanced Research Programme to lead ambitious and long-term projects focused on cutting-edge technologies, such as using artificial intelligence in healthcare or understanding the biology of ageing.
Bell’s review, which was welcomed by business minister Greg Clark and health minister Jeremy Hunt, will be followed by a ‘sector deal’ from the government in the coming months, acting on his recommendations with concrete commitments.
The £64 billion ($83 billion) a year life sciences industry, which employs 235,000 people, is one of several sectors the government has prioritised, along with ultra-low emission vehicles, nuclear and creative industries.
It is the first to see the launch of a sector report under the industrial strategy.
GlaxoSmithKline, Britain’s largest life sciences company, said a stronger and deeper level of collaboration between industry, government, the NHS and academia would make Britain a more attractive place for drugmakers.
Smaller manufacturers feeling strains: The process of Britain’s departure from the EU has already hurt around 40 per cent of small and medium-sized British manufacturers, an industry survey showed on Wednesday.
The quarterly National Manufacturing Barometer, conducted by business consultancies SWMAS and Economic Growth Solutions, chimed with other surveys showing robust manufacturing activity right now, but nervousness about the future.
— Reuters