Liam Fox tells officials not to use 'offensive caricature' term 'Empire 2.0'

Posted On: 
12th March 2017

Liam Fox has warned civil servants not to use the term “Empire 2.0” to describe his department’s efforts to build stronger trading links with Commonwealth countries. 

Liam Fox at the Conservative party conference
PA Images

The International Trade Secretary met ministers from more than 30 countries that used to be part of the British Empire in London last week to discuss boosting economic ties.

Ahead of the summit, The Times reported that Whitehall officials sceptical about the attempt to had branded it “Empire 2.0”.

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Dr Fox hit out at the characterisation on Sky News: “That’s not a phrase I would ever allow them [civil servants] to use.

“It’s a phrase I find slightly offensively caricaturing so it’s not a phrase I would use.”

He added that it was right for the UK to have a “proper global view” as it leaves the European Union.

In his speech at the summit, Dr Fox said the “rapid economic development” of some Commonwealth nations opened up new opportunities for mutually advantageous trade links.

“This represents not only a great opportunity for their citizens to share in the proceeds of global prosperity, but it represents tremendous opportunities to importers and exporters from across the whole Commonwealth, a genuinely win-win situation,” he said.