Britain to start trade negotiations with non-EU economies

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The UK will begin trade negotiations with non-European Union (EU) economies and introduce a new immigration system, as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new agenda for the country.

Johnson returned to power last week after his conservative party won the majority in the British parliament. The government’s plans were announced in the Queen’s Speech on Thursday.

The government will bring forward legislation to ensure the UK's exit on January 31, Queen Elizabeth said.

UK will seek a future relationship with the EU based on free trade agreement that benefits the whole of the country, she said, adding that the government will also begin trade negotiations with other leading global economies.

The country wants to cover 80 percent of the total external trade with free trade agreements by 2022, Reuters reported, citing a briefing note.

The government will also introduce a modern, fair, points-based immigration system to welcome skilled workers from across the world, Queen Elizabeth said.

The UK government also plans to introduce a string of measures aimed at easing the conduct of business in the country post Brexit.

It would conduct a ‘fundamental review’ of business rates – a tax for occupying commercial property – which normally equates to 50 percent of the annual rent.

Uncertainty arising from Brexit has affected global markets, while pushing Britain to the brink of recession.

The government said it will introduce a new Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) bill that will prevent hostile parties from acquiring assets such as intellectual property.

--with Reuters