Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


09 JAN 2018

Trade

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the role that trade can play in helping the world's poorest.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department for International Trade is reassuring:

Alongside the great opportunities increased trade brings to this country, we must ensure that developing nations share in these benefits. Free trade is one of the most powerful tools we have to help those in the greatest need around the world, and ensure that countries have the tools they require to be able to trade their way out of poverty.
Continuity will be sought in our trading relationships with developing countries as we leave the European Union, which includes replicating the effects of the EU's Economic Partnership (EPAs). As we leave the EU, we will also secure existing duty-free access for the world's poorest countries to UK markets. This commitment means that around 48 least developed countries across the globe will continue to benefit from duty-free exports into the UK on all goods, other than arms and ammunition. It is also the wish of our partner countries that, first and foremost, this continuity is maintained as we leave the EU. However, the Government has made clear that it wishes to update these agreements once we have left the EU.
The UK is of course fully committed to promoting and delivering the sustainable development goals and is the first and only G7 country to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas development assistance. There will be scrutiny and engagement that is inclusive, meaningful and transparent and is coherent with the need to ensure we do not undermine our negotiating position.

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