cumbria’s diverse exports inspire new approach to uk trade
Rory’s vision for Cumbrian exports recalls the buccaneering enterprise of Britain’s trading past .
In a speech in the House of Commons on 8 February 2012, Rory emphasised the diversity of Cumbria’s exports as a model for Britain. He called on the UK government to look at “unexpected countries and unexpected products.”
This requires, he said, a transformation in the drive, leadership and imagination of embassies: “We in Britain should look back not at our Victorian past but at our Elizabethan past, when a buccaneering, trading, earring-wearing rogue state took its goods all the way around the world.”
He paid tribute to local companies like Innovia in Wigton, Steadmans in Warnell, and Bonds of Alston, and ended his speech with a plea to UKTI and the Foreign Office to focus efforts on opening Middle Eastern markets to British meat exports. He said that “the Arab appetite for sheep is almost unstoppable” and called for embassies to work with Middle Eastern governments to obtain the necessary health certificates on behalf of British sheep exporters.