Liam Fox on BREXIT – put trade negotiation first, and politics second

Boris Johnson and Liam Fox GO TO WAR over control of Britain’s foreign policy

BORIS Johnson is locked in battle with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox over key parts of British foreign policy, a leaked letter has revealed.

Do the trade deals now. Worry about politics later.

Liam Fox (left) GETTY

Liam Fox (left) sent a strongly-worded letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Former defence secretary Fox sent the letter to Mr Johnson – copying in Prime Minister Theresa May – claiming Britain will not “flourish” if the Foreign Office remains in control of future policy.Mr Fox suggested there should be a “rational restructuring” of the Foreign Office, handing its economic diplomacy team over to his department.

Boris JohnsonGETTY

Mr Johnson was unexpectedly appointed Foreign Secretary after the Brexit vote

The letter shows the rifts in Theresa May’s cabinet among the ministers negotiating Brexit and Government sources say it went down “like a lead balloon”.Eurosceptic Mr Fox wrote: “In my first few weeks as Secretary of State for International Trade it has become clear to me that existing cross-Whitehall structures have meant that HM Government has not taken the holistic approach it might have on trade and investment agendas.

Theresa MayGETTY

Theresa May is said to be ‘unimpressed’ by the spat

There was no way that the Foreign Office was going to surrender one of its key functions to Liam Fox

Westminster Source

“For British trade to flourish there are clear requirements on us: to build the trade framework in markets through trade policy, to establish the conditions for trade and investment through foreign diplomacy, and to reap the harvest of those efforts.”The 54-year-old added: “If we are to have a rational restructuring I think there is a reasonable proposition to transfer the Economic Diplomacy function from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office into the Department for International Trade.”
The Minister said the new approach would allow the Foreign Office to “retain clear leadership on diplomacy and security” while “allowing the Department for International Trade to take clear leadership of the trade and investment agenda”.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.