Liam Fox maintains UK could go it alone on WTO rules if no Brexit deal is struck
Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said the UK could succeed even if no bespoke trade deal can be agreed with the European Union after Brexit.
Dr Fox is en route to Argentina for the biennial World Trade Organisation summit, the last before the UK leaves the EU.
He told the Sun: “As we move onto trade discussions with the EU, we must also seize the opportunities Brexit brings for our trade for both the EU and the rest of the world.
“For the first time in 40 years we are preparing to trade as an independent nation, where all our choices about trade will be made in the UK national interest.
“It’s a new opportunity, but also a return to the traditions that made our country great.”
Dr Fox pointed again to comments last year by World Trade Organisation director-general Roberto Azevêdo, who said it would not be “the end of the world if the UK traded under WTO rules” with the EU.
The Trade Secretary added: “At the conference I will make the case for free and open trade, and push for measures that benefit British businesses, like removing barriers to digital trade and making regulations more transparent for smaller companies.
“Reducing red-tape around trade could save up to 15% on the cost of goods traded internationally – meaning lower costs for UK exporters, bigger profits for UK businesses and more jobs for UK workers.”