Britain should be doing better on exports, trade minister says

FILE PHOTO: Weekly cabinet meeting at Number 10 Downing Street, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should be doing better on trade and has a strategy to boost falling export numbers, Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said on Wednesday, adding she believed the benefits of Brexit would be more long term.

Badenoch was asked by lawmakers about figures that showed Britain's exports were down and lagging those of other countries.

"We should be doing better. That's something that is clear. We should be doing better," Badenoch said. "We have an export strategy that's going to be very, very focused on trying to address those issues."

Badenoch cited supply chain bottlenecks during the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, saying it was complex to work out how much of the impact was to do with Brexit but she did not want to reignite the debate around the 2016 referendum.

She added that the opportunity to strike trade deals with younger, growing economies around the world was a prize of Brexit, but one that would not be realised immediately.

"There always were going to be difficulties. So I'm not one of these Brexiteers who said everything's going to be fine as soon as we leave," Badenoch said.

"This was a very difficult decision for people like me and it was making a play for the long term."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing nby Nick Macfie)