The man charged with helping to negotiate Britain's free trade deals around the world post-Brexit has said the agreements can help improve global security. Crawford Falconer, who will work with International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, said there was a “powerful political and security element to getting this right”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Falconer said: History is littered with instances of the destructive political consequences of closed markets. This was a lesson well understood at the end of the last century's global conflicts.
It was at the core of the post-war global order. And the UK was nothing less than one of the chief architects of that order.
Mr. Falconer, who starts his role this week, has 25 years of experience in international trade.
Dr Fox said Mr. Falconer brings with him a wealth of international trade expertise which will make sure the UK will be at the forefront of global free trade and driving the case for international openness.
His direct experience in global trade will prove invaluable as we build our future trading arrangements with the rest of the world.
A New Zealander, Mr Falconer has represented his country at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and held various posts in foreign and trade affairs in his home country.
Prof Alan Winters, from the University of Sussex's UK Trade Policy Observatory, said Mr Falconer's experience and contacts at the WTO would mean the groundwork for separating UK trade policy from Brussels would be made easier.
He knows quite a lot of the main players at the WTO and can build bridges at the European Council, which is good as there is work to be done right now, he said.
There is work he can do, such as discussions on whether the UK uses replicas or changes trade agreements that we have with nations by way of membership with the EU.
At the moment, Britain can hold talks with other countries to lay the groundwork for post-Brexit free trade deals, but it cannot officially sign them until it has left the bloc.
Last week, Downing Street also conceded that the UK will not be able to implement any trade deals under a proposed customs transition deal which will end around two years after Brexit takes effect in March 2019.
A number of countries have made positive noises in recent months about the prospect of agreeing free trade deals with Britain quickly.
Australia's Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said earlier this summer that we stand ready to enter into a free trade agreement with the UK, when the UK is able to do so
The remarks came days after US President Donald Trump said he expects to reach a very powerful trade deal with Britain after Brexit.