June 5, 2017 / 9:53 PM / 3 months ago

UK PM May plans global network of trade commissioners post-Brexit

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during an election campaign event in Bradford, Britain, June 5, 2017.Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to set up a network of nine trade commissioners around the world to boost trade after Brexit, her governing Conservative Party said on Monday.

May's Conservatives are widely expected to win a parliamentary election on Thursday, although their opinion poll lead over the main opposition Labour Party has narrowed markedly since she called the election in April.

The party said the trade commissioners would promote exports, seek inward investment and drive trade policy overseas.

"They will be based overseas in nine different regions, determined by markets rather than national borders, to ensure UK trade policy is guided by local experience and expertise," the party said in a statement, without specifying what the nine regions would be.

May, who plans to take Britain out of the European Union's tariff-free single market, has said Brexit will allow Britain to seek bilateral trade deals with "old friends and new allies" and has created a new government department solely focused on trade.

The Conservatives also said they would create a new "Board of Trade", bringing together leading business figures and politicians to help lead trade delegations, boost exports and make sure the benefits are spread equally across the country.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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