UK wants 80% of trade covered by new trade deals by 2022

FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers stacked on a cargo ship are seen in the dock at the ABP port in Southampton, Britain August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Thursday it wanted to cover 80% of its external trade with new free trade agreements by 2022 as it seeks to build new relationships with the world after leaving the European Union on Jan 31.

“Our ambition is to cover 80% of total UK external trade with free trade agreements by 2022,” the government said in a briefing note accompanying its legislative agenda.

The United Kingdom has already announced it will be negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union, United States, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle