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UK Chancellor praises transatlantic relationship

UK Chancellor praises strong transatlantic relationship

Chancellor Gordon Brown today announced a joint UK-US enterprise agreement intended to make economic relations between Europe and America even stronger.

Damaging trade and regulatory disputes between Europe and the USA have hindered commerce and damaged transatlantic relations, the Chancellor told the CBI conference in Birmingham.

"It is time now for us all to make the effort to move beyond them," he said.

Europe and America do up to $2.5 trillion of business each year employing over 12 million people on both sides of the Atlantic, accounting for 55 per cent of global trade.

Mr Brown said:

"...I want to say - I believe on behalf of all of us here - in welcoming President Bush's visit later this week, what binds America and Britain together is not simply a shared history over the generations - and not just wonderfully good and cordial personal relationships - but shared values.

"Indeed for centuries, America and Britain have been linked by the ideals that we share: a passion for liberty and opportunity; a belief in the work ethic and in enterprise for all; a commitment to being open not isolationist; and our shared conviction that economic expansion through free trade and free markets is the key to growth and prosperity."

He said the agreement is a reflection of these shared values. The agreement includes:

a programme for British universities involved in research and technology to link up with US universities, including a technology transfer fund to foster exchange of ideas across the Atlantic;

enterprise scholarships for management studies in the UK and the USA;

sharing best practice on enterprise education in schools and universities, with young entrepreneurs in the US and UK able to learn from each other; and

a joint forum to discuss common productivity challenges and share best practice.

On the British economy, the Chancellor said he would not risk the 'hard won' stability. He said that Britain has not only avoided recession but has enjoyed continuous growth for the first time in fifty years.

"Our stability first policy means that our fiscal decisions will ensure that while debt is rising substantially in other countries, levels of debt in Britain will remain low and sustainable.

"So our policy will remain stability first - today, tomorrow and always. For stability is never a final achievement but always a permanent never ending challenge."

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