Foreign trade will benefit NE says MP

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International trade with developing countries will benefit the north east of Scotland, according to a local MP.

Colin Clark welcomed remarks by the international development secretary of state Priti Patel during questions in the Commons.

The Conservative MP for Gordon asked Ms Patel whether the oil and gas industry would be able to take advantage of increased trade links with major exporters.

He asked: “The oil and gas industry, which is important to my constituency, uses copper and nickel - major exports of less developed countries such as Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Does my right honourable friend agree that free trade with those countries is good for them and good for the UK?

Ms Patel said: “My honourable friend is absolutely right, and I am well aware of his constituency’s links with the sectors he mentions.

"By increasing trade opportunities for UK firms, we can help the world’s poorest countries trade themselves out of poverty, which everyone in the House wants."

Mr Clark asked what discussions she has had with the secretary of state for international trade on securing preferential trading access to the UK for least developed countries after the UK leaves the EU.

Ms Patel said the departments are working together to plan for the day when Britain finally leaves the EU in 2019, “when we will start to secure duty-free access to less developed countries and work on trade preferences”.