Project Fear was WRONG: Liam Fox says UK has 'positive response' from EU over trade deal

Posted on Oct 12 2017 - 9:53pm by admin

The Brexiteer told the House of Commons this morning that a number of transitional trade deals between Britain and members of the Brussels bloc could kick in for a two-year transitional period after Brexit D-Day in March 2019.

And he says the government is working to confirm as many trade deals as possible over the next two years, provided other governments are willing to cooperate.

While Minister for Trade Mark Garnier added that the UK has seen “truly amazing figures” of late, with record inward investment to Britain while creating 158,000 jobs and safeguarding 56,000 others.

And he revealed that since Brexit vote the UK has seen a huge number of projects coming into the country, saying: “The project fear doom-mongers were wrong.”

Mr Fox told MPs: “We’ve had a positive response from other governments.

“They like us want to ensure there is no disruption to trade at point of departure of the EU.

“We will want to get as many of those in place as we can, part of that depends upon the willingness of partners to get it ready on time.

“There are obviously contingency measures under WTO rules to ensure contingent market access in any case.”

MP Greg Hands also told the rather empty Commons that the Department for International Trade was wasting no time in preparing for transitional free trade agreements- with 14 working groups currently in place with a number of countries.

He added that the government is devoting significant efforts towards transitioning the EU’s existing agreements to be enshrined in UK law in consultation with Brussels.

Peter Bone, a Conservative, later asked Liam Fox if he will publish his plans for a “no deal” Brexit before Christmas.

Mr Fox said his department is making plans for this scenario, but the government hopes it will get a deal.

The comments this morning comes as Mr Fox launches a new board of trade today.

Writing in the Times, he said: “The board will bring together leading figures from business and politics from all four nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“It will meet four times a year, rotating around the UK to guarantee businesses in every region have the chance to raise the issues that matter most to them.

“The board’s members and advisers will have a clear objective. 

“To make sure British companies can seize the opportunities that come with leaving the EU, and have the support they need to boost exports and become successful global companies.”

The board, made up of business leaders from across the country, is aimed at boosting exports, attracting inward investors and “ensure the benefits of free trade are spread equally across the country”.

Leaders will meet four times a year and advisors include Manchester Airport chief of staff Colette Roche, makers of the Famous Grouse Whiskey, and the former president of the board of trade Patricia Hewitt.

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