Asia House Brexit Series: UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox
Photo credit: Paul Toeman
The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, will brief Asia House corporate members on the UK’s trade prospects post-Brexit, with a particular focus on ASEAN.
Dr Fox campaigned strongly for the UK to vote to leave the European Union and was subsequently appointed Secretary of State for International Trade in July 2016 in the wake of the Brexit vote. He has voiced his strong intent that once outside the EU, the UK will take up a fully independent place at the WTO and will be free to strike competitive deals with countries across the world.
In an article in The Daily Telegraph on 19 January Dr Fox wrote that many countries were already preparing to expand their trading links to the UK as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
He wrote: “As I have travelled the globe. so many have expressed their delight that one of the world’s largest economies is coming out fighting for a free and open trading system. From Brazil to Hong Kong, Britain’s bold and optimistic mission has been welcomed. Trade ministers have visited 55 countries, promoting UK export of goods and services and encouraging investment. Since the referendum, more than £16 billion has been invested in the UK from overseas, a clear vote of confidence. When we leave [the EU], we will want to develop new arrangements with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and India. We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit. Dozens of countries are preparing to expand their trading links to the UK.”
In his free trade speech at the Manchester Town Hall in September 2016, Dr Fox delivered a simple message, that “the UK has a golden opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world” in the post-Brexit era continuing to say “we are ready to take our place in an open, liberal and competitive globalised trading environment.” What will this mean for the future of bilateral relations between the UK and countries across Asia? What are the opportunities, prospects and challenges?
Dr Fox visited South Asia for the second time in his current posting in November 2016 as part of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s delegation. Whilst there, he met with numerous ministers, affirming the ongoing commitment to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the UK and the region. In January 2017, Dr Fox met government leaders and businesses in Hong Kong, focusing on a range of issues including ways to deepen the UK and Hong Kong’s bilateral trading relationship.
In his role, Dr Fox is responsible for the work of the Department for International Trade (DIT) which includes developing, co-coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy to promote UK business across the globe and developing and negotiating free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries.
Dr Fox was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade in July 2016 in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Prior to this, he held several ministerial roles in John Major’s Conservative government. He served as Constitutional Affairs Spokesman (1998-1999), Shadow Health Secretary (1999-2003), Conservative Party chairman (2003-05), Shadow Foreign Secretary (2005) and Shadow Defence Secretary (2005-10). In 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence, a position from which he resigned on 14 October 2011. He has been the MP for North Somerset since 1992.
This briefing is for Asia House corporate members only. To register, please contact Conor Paterson in the Business & Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 307 5439.
This event is taking place as part of the Asia House Brexit Series, which encompasses a number of seminars and private briefings examining the implications of Brexit.