Original article by Peter Dominiczak, Political Editor, The Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/14/theresa-may-pledges-to-look-…
Theresa May tells business bosses: we will set our own rules for new international trade deals
Britain will use the freedom of Brexit to “set our own rules” as it negotiates new international trade deals, Theresa May told company bosses as she denied that she has an “anti-business agenda”.
In her first major foreign policy speech since becoming Prime Minister, Mrs May said that the UK will “forge new and dynamic trading agreements” as it leaves the European Union.
She also used the speech to respond to Donald Trump’s election, saying that it shows that Britain must once and for all deal with immigration and the communities across the country that feel forgotten by successive governments.
She warned that a failure to deal with the “downsides” of globalisation could lead to its “ruin”.
In her most significant comments yet about what Britain’s trading relationship will look like after Brexit, Mrs May said: “As we leave the European Union, we will also use the strength and size of our economy to lead the way in getting out into the world and doing new business with old allies and new partners alike.
“We will use the freedoms that come from negotiating with partners directly, to be flexible, to set our own rules and forge new and dynamic trading agreements that work for the whole UK.”
Mrs May also rejected claims that there is a choice between “hard” and “soft” Brexit. “That is also why ... we are not trying to replicate the deal that any other country has with the EU,” she said.
“And we are not going for an off-the-shelf solution.
“All of us here tonight know that there is not some choice between hard Brexit and soft Brexit. It is about how business and government works together to get the best deal; the right deal for Britain and the right deal for businesses working across the continent.”
Mrs May attacked business leaders who “game the system and work to a different set of rules”, in a thinly-veiled attack on bosses such as Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley.
However, she attempted to reach out to business leaders, who have in recent months criticised her over policy plans that have been described as punitive. The Government has said that it wants to force companies to put workers on boards and curb executive pay.
Addressing the Guildhall in London, Mrs May said: “I know many of you ... recognise this responsibility, but others have voiced their suspicion of what they see as a growing anti-business agenda. I don’t agree. It is because I believe so passionately in business that I say this.
“Asking business to work with government to play its part is profoundly pro-business, because it is fundamental to retaining faith in capitalism and free markets.
"If we believe, as I do, that liberalism and globalisation continue to offer the best future for our world, we must deal with the downsides and show that we can make these twin forces work for everyone.
“Because when you refuse to accept that globalisation in its current form has left too many people behind, you’re not sowing the seeds for its growth but for its ruin.”