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May says UK to become leader in free trade despite Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a news conference after the closing of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted Britain to become a global leader in free trade as it exits the European Union.

“As the UK leaves the EU I’ve set out our ambition to become the global leader in free trade,” May told reporters after a two-day summit of leaders from G20 nations in China.

May said there would be no retreat towards protectionism and that there had been positive reactions from partners about securing new trade deals.

“The leaders from India, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore said that they would welcome talks on removing the barriers to trade between our countries,” she said.

Reporting by William James, writing by Sarah Young, editing by Guy Faulconbridge