Theresa May dispatches ministers on Brexit trade mission
Theresa May has instructed ministers to spend the Easter break drumming up support for post-Brexit trade deals around the world.
Philip Hammond will lead the charge with a high-profile trip to India next week, and Trade Secretary Liam Fox will visit several Asian countries.
The Chancellor will visit Mumbai and Delhi alongside Bank of England governor Mark Carney, Commercial Secretary Baroness Neville-Rolfe and International Trade Minister Mark Garnier.
This week's triggering of Article 50 means the UK is now free to begin formal negotiations on trade deals with countries outside the EU.
Mr Fox has spent much of the last year laying the groundwork for potential deals once the UK has left the bloc.
“We’re not more free to talk with non-EU countries – we just can’t sign anything yet," he told the Sun on Sunday.
“But we can step up a gear in our activities and that’s what we’ll be doing.”
The Qatari finance minister revealed earlier this week that the Gulf state would be investing £5bn in the UK over "the next three to five years".
Other countries which have been earmarked for a post-Brexit deal include Commonwealth nations such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.