Liam Fox sets out plan for UK to become 'exporting superpower'

Posted On: 
21st August 2018

Liam Fox will today urge the UK to become an “exporting superpower” as he lays out plans for post-Brexit trade around the world.

Liam Fox will set out his vision to business leaders
Credit: 
PA Images

The International Trade Secretary will say he wants exports as a proportion of national wealth to grow from 30% to 35%.

But Labour said the Conservatives had focused their export strategy on one-off arms sales and urged the Government to join a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

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Exports reached a record high last year of £620bn after a fall in the value of the pound in the wake of the Brexit vote and better than predicted growth.

Mr Fox will argue the UK should “set its sights high” as it quits the bloc and insisted the nation was “superbly placed to capitalise on the rapid changes in the global economic environment”.

In a speech to business leaders in London, he will say: “I believe the UK has the potential to be a 21st century exporting superpower.

“As an international economic department, we are determined to support, connect and grow UK companies on the world stage through our international network.”

Business groups welcomed the message, but Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner blasted the Government for delays in publishing its export strategy.

“Our businesses need a strong future export relationship with the EU. The Tory export strategy has thus far been based on controversial one-off arms sales,” he said.

“That is no substitute for a customs union with our most important trade partners, which is what the next Labour government will deliver.”