It would be IMMORAL for the EU to refuse to do a free trade deal with us after Brexit, Liam Fox says Read more:

  • International Trade Secretary makes ‘moral’ case for avoiding tariffs
  • Tells WTO conference UK will keep pushing for more liberal trade regime
  • Comes amid fresh signs government will trigger Brexit early next year
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urges access to single market 

The EU has a moral duty to do a free trade deal with Britain after we leave, Liam Fox has argued.

The International Trade Secretary stressed the ‘moral case’ for avoiding tariffs as he delivered a keynote speech.

The intervention, at a World Trade Organisation conference in Geneva, comes amid more hints at the government’s Brexit plans.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, pictured left with WTO director general Roberto Azevedo in Geneva today

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has revealed that Theresa May told him privately Article 50 will be triggered early next year.

Meanwhile, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has warned against a ‘hard Brexit’ without access to the EU single market, saying there was ‘not necessarily’ a mandate from the referendum.

But Tory former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has ramped up the pressure on Mrs May to hasten our departure from the Brussels club.

Mr Duncan Smith insisted that “the British people voted to take back control of their borders, their money and their laws; that seems pretty mainstream to me”.

Speaking today, Dr Fox said quoted economist Adam Smith’s famous comment that it was always in the ‘interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest’.

‘I believe as much in the moral case for free trade as I do in its economic benefits,’ Dr Fox said.

‘People should be able to exchange their hard work for goods at mutually agreed prices – without the shackles of artificial barriers being placed on them by governments or market distorting practices such as dumping, export subsidies or state aid.

‘Trade should be fair as well as free.’

Praising the WTO for axing red tape across borders, he said the agenda of liberalising trade had to be ‘revitalised’.

‘We will lead the charge for a fair and rule-based system for global trade and investment,’ he said.

‘We have a history as a great trading nation and, as we forge a new global role for ourselves we will carry the banner for free trade.

‘It’s an area I am passionate about because the benefits are clear.

‘Free trade puts the consumer first by forcing businesses to compete and countries to specialise.

‘It leads to higher efficiency, greater productivity as well as better quality and cheaper goods.

Dr Fox dismissed the idea there would be a ‘legal vacuum’ after Brexit.

‘As I have said, the decision of the British people to leave the EU is not symptomatic of looking inwards but a people who want to take more control over our laws, our money and our borders,’ he said.

‘We are a proud and outward-looking trading nation.’

Scottish First minister Nicola Sturgeon told an audience at the Institute of Directors today that there was 'not necessarily' a mandate for 'hard' Brexit

Leave a Reply

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Notify of
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: