“Liam Fox opened his speech portraying a picture of renewed confidence in the UK, referring to FDI projects levels reaching record highs. However a sluggish 0.2% annual growth rate in business investment during 2017, coupled with surging economic policy uncertainty, completely contradicts his remarks.
“His speech then went on to diminish the significance of our trade relations with the EU quoting that 57% of our exports are to non EU nations. What Mr Fox failed to mention is that during 2016, 54% of UK imports were from the EU at a value of £318bn; some £82bn more than the value of our exports to EU nations. Not as insignificant as proclaimed, when taking into account how much the UK imports.
“The main point of Mr Fox’s speech was that the UK must take a long term view on trade. He emphasised informal dialogues between potential trading parters that may help us prosper. Yet none of this was backed up with concrete deals or economic analysis. Perhaps, like the rest of us, Liam Fox has not been granted access to the recent Whitehall results.”