On February 6, 2020, the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy hosted a talk by Right Honorable Conor Burns MP, the current Minister of State for International Trade of the United Kingdom. He spoke to the Bush School about the importance of US-UK trade, particularly Texas-UK trade. Minister Burns’ remarks were the first given by a British Minister following the United Kingdom’s formal exit from the European Union.
Minister Burns covered two main topics in his speech. First, he discussed the role of government and stressed that the government’s main role is to create the legal framework for enterprise that provides room for talent to grow. He proclaimed that the role of politicians is to speak to every single person within their constituency and that it is the work of private individuals to push a country to succeed.
Minister Burns then shifted to discussing the role of Britain following the separation of the United Kingdom and the European Union. In his remarks, he argued that leaving the European Union created the opportunity for the United Kingdom to become an independent, self-governing state. He maintained that this should not be seen as Britain “pulling up the drawbridge,” but rather as it entering a new stage of global interaction in which the British state enacts policy independent of the European Union. According to the Minister, the United States will play a key role in shaping the strategy Britain uses to engage with the world in the new era. The Minister concluded, “So long as our two great nations stand together, we need fear no one, and we need fear nothing.”