Murdoch’s Sun newspaper grants Liam Fox coverage of his views which contradict those of Theresa May and Chancellor Hammond.
‘BUSINESS LIKE NEVER BEFORE’
Liam Fox opens up potential Cabinet split after dismissing claims of UK staying in the EU’s Single Market
Trade boss’s comments contradict the views of the PM Theresa May and the Chancellor Philip Hammond
BY HARRY COLE, WESTMINSTER CORRESPONDENT 26th July 2016, 8:25 pm
NEW trade boss Liam Fox has opened up a potential Cabinet split over Brexit by dismissing aims for Britain to stay in the EU’s Single Market.
On a visit to the US, the International Trade Secretary said he wants the UK to enter a free-trade agreement with the EU rather than a closer “customs union”.
Trade boss Liam Fox says UK ‘is open for business like never before’
His comments contradict the views of the PM and Chancellor, who have both spelled out their hopes to remain inside Europe’s Single Market trade area.
Dr Fox’s three day tour of New York, Chicago and LA is to reassure American business that the UK is a good place to invest.
In a speech in Chicago last night he insisted: “The UK is open for business like never before.”
He added: “A vote to leave the EU and a change in government means we now have a golden opportunity to make Britain a truly global trading nation.”
But his trip was marred by an early embarrassing slap down from the American government.
Michael Froman AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
US Trade boss Michael Froman said UK must wait for ‘appropriate time’ for trade talks
US Trade boss Michael Froman told Mr Fox it was too soon to open post Brexit trade talks and the UK must wait for the “appropriate time.”
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Mr Fox said he would probably seek to enter a free-trade agreement with the EU rather than a closer “customs union” that would hamper the UK’s ability to negotiate lower tariffs with other countries around the world
Although he stressed that no final decision had been made, the British Trade chief’s comments would put him at odds with the Theresa May who has signalled her support for Britain remaining part of the Single Market — a customs union.
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Mr Fox expanded on his comments in his Chicago speech, saying the UK wanted to “leave in a way that creates minimal disruption for the Continent as a whole.”
But again he signalled his opposition to the Single Market, saying: “We are moving away from an era when multilateral agreements dominate the landscape to one where bilateral free trade agreements and plurilateral agreements between small numbers of countries are becoming more common.”
Stressing his commitment to US trade, Mr Fox announced that the UK will open three trading outposts in America.
Offices in Minneapolis are part of Liam Fox’s plans for three US trading outpost
The offices in Minneapolis, Raleigh and San Diego will “promote UK business, economic and political ties” in areas, he said were “renowned for their economic productivity”.
Mr Fox claimed last night that a similar office in Seattle alone had “supported delivery of approximately £8 million in capital investment and 1,000 UK jobs in the past year.”