UK Still Top Foreign Investment Destination in Europe in 2018

The latest OECD figures show that the UK has held on to its top spot in Europe for Foreign Direct Investment yet again – only the US and China surpass the UK globally. The UK’s inward investment stock totalled $1.89 trillion by the end of 2018. More than double Germany’s $920 billion – in fact it’s more than Germany, Spain and Poland combined…

Liam Fox blasts “those who would talk down Britain’s economic performance” saying that they’ve beenproven wrong once again”. It comes on top of EY revealing earlier this month that the UK has now also become the world’s most attractive destination for M&A activity, overtaking the US for the first time. So much for George Osborne’s warnings about foreign investment collapsing after a vote to Leave…

Liam Fox Writes to Conservative Party on Customs

This morning Graham Brady distributed a letter from Liam Fox to the Parliamentary Conservative Party explaining the clear disadvantages of signing up to the Customs Union. Perhaps Labour MPs ought to read it too…

Fox explains that by signing up to a customs union, that the UK would be stuck in the worst of both worlds, both unable to set its own international trade policy and subject without representation to the EU’s whim. “The UK would have a new role in the global trading system – we ourselves would be traded.”

There would also be no point in a Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade if the UK can’t negotiate trade deals…

Fox: Country Has Brexit Fatigue

Fox has a point, the direction in opinion polls is not encouraging for Brexiteers…

Fox: Article 50 Extension Would be “Very Unfortunate”

A far cry from the unequivocal promises the Government has repeatedly given over the past two years…

Fox: MPs Who Break Their Promises on Brexit “Deserve” to be Punished by Voters

“Those who get elected on that promise and then don’t follow it through… will have a difficult time with voters the next time. And if that happens then they deserve it…”

Liam Fox: Customs Union Not an Acceptable Price for Backstop Changes

He won’t commit to resigning over it…

Liam Fox: Parliament Trying To Hijack Brexit

Fox: Customs Union “Would Not Be Delivering Brexit”

Trade Secretary Liam Fox has come out fighting against some senior Remainers in the Cabinet who are reportedly pushing for membership of the EU’s Customs Union. He told the BBC that Customs Union membership would not be delivering Brexit.

“We would have to apply European trade law without having a say in how it’s made, and we would also have to apply what’s called the common external tariff, which would restrict our ability to make agreements outside the European Union’s ability to do so. It would not be in my view delivering Brexit.”

Leaving the EU in control of our trade is the opposite of taking back control…

Fox: Brexit Deal Needs “Legally Binding” Changes

Liam Fox has said that Theresa May’s Brexit deal needs “legally binding” changes to address the risk of the backstop “locking the UK into the customs union”. Then Fox weasels out with talk of “clarification” and “definition”…

Group Launched by Davis, Fox, and Raab Calls for May to Go

Conservative Voice, the grassroots Conservative group originally launched by David Davis, Liam Fox, and Dominic Raab has written to its members encouraging them to contact their MPs, telling them to “stand up for Brexit” and “change course urgently.”

“It will be painful to hold a leadership contest now, at this moment of crisis in the UK’s affairs. Yet we can see no alternative. With the clock ticking on Brexit, all our options are bad, but a leadership contest is the least bad.”

Read the full explosive letter here:

Guido would expect Liam Fox to disown the call, not sure about the others…

White House Notifies Congress: US-UK Trade Deal at the Front of the Queue

Under fast-track trade rules, the US Trade Representative cannot start trade negotiations until 90 days after notifying Congress. Last night he sent that notification to Congress.

The letter from the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, to Congress said the USTR planned to start talks between “the first and fifth largest economies in the world … as soon as it is ready after it exits the European Union on March 29, 2019.” The United States wants to develop “cutting edge obligations for emerging sectors where U.S. and U.K. innovators and entrepreneurs are most competitive.” The UK – US free trade deal will cover the biggest transatlantic bilateral trading relationship in the world, right over the airspace of Ireland…

The letter also reveals that although the EU prevents the UK from formally negotiating a trade deal until after Britain escapes from the EU’s grip, Liam Fox and he have established a US-UK Trade & Investment Working Group which is “laying the groundwork for a potential future free trade agreement”. Turns out when Cameron asked Obama to say “Britain would be at the back of the queue” he was totally lying wrong…

See also: Cameron Asked Obama to Say UK Would Be “At Back of the Queue”

Fox Backtracks On No-Deal Prediction

 

Back tracking on his “60% likelihood of no-deal” comment, Trade Secretary Liam Fox told Sophy Ridge this morning that “I think over the last few weeks we’ve certainly heard more reassuring noises from the European Commission.”

Fox: May Should Lead Tories Into 2022 Election

 

“Supporting the Prime Minister now is in our national interest, and certainly if she wants to continue on to the next election she’ll have my support.”

Leaving some wiggle room there with that ‘if’…

Civil Service Working on Continuing Customs Union Membership

The Department for International Trade is interviewing for a ‘Business Support Manager’. The second bullet point in the five “key areas of responsibility” gives away that the department is developing policy about membership of the Customs Union. This directly breaks one of Theresa May’s most important red lines…

“Customs Union: with G7 support, leading BEAT’s [Business Environment Advisory Team] engagement with those developing the policy about the UK’s membership of the Customs Union, as it develops.”

Trade Secretary Liam Fox has consistently said that “no form of customs union is acceptable after Brexit” and that membership of one would constitute “a complete sell-out of Britain’s national interests.” His department seems to disagree…

UPDATE: The DIT have been in touch to say that the description was “incorrect,” despite the job description referencing the Customs Union twice.

“This job description was incorrect – the government has made very clear that the UK is leaving the Customs Union. We will establish a new and ambitious customs arrangement with the EU that will allow us to maintain as frictionless trade as possible in goods between the UK and EU.”

Guido hears that interviews began today…

Japan Welcomes Brexit Britain’s Bid to Join Massive Global Free Trade Area

Liam Fox is in Tokyo today, visiting another wealthy island nation that does not see the need to enter into political and economic union with its authoritarian continental neighbour.

The International Trade Secretary is meeting Japanese PM Shinzō Abe, after Japan’s Trade Minister “welcomed” Britain’s bid to join the successor to the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday. The massive CPTPP Free Trade Area encompasses Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

This is the kind of Free Trade Area that the UK should be joining, unlike the EU it does not presume to legislate for its members, and nor does it prohibit members from making their own global trade deals.

Fox and Leadsom Threaten to Resign If May Makes Further Concessions

Last week it was Brexiteers who were furious after Theresa May caved into a soft Brexit, this morning it is Remainers who are kicking off after Number 10 accepted the ERG amendments last night. Now Soubry, Morgan, Grieve and co are attempting to keep us in the customs union if we haven’t got a frictionless trade agreement with the EU by January. The reality is Number 10 and parliament cannot allow any further concessions to the Remainers or the EU if the government is to survive.

The remaining few Brexiteers in the Cabinet say they will not stomach any further sellout. Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey are staying very quiet as they consider their positions. Sources close to Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom say they will resign if the government makes any further concessions. All of these ministers are privately unhappy with the Chequers plan but currently willing to hold their noses – they say that will change if the EU or Remainers succeed in bouncing Number 10 into any further climbdown. Fox, Leadsom and the remaining Brexiteers in the Cabinet have been weak so far, but they are now at the end of the line...

Fox Likes Tweet Calling Deal “A Turd”

That’s about the total extent of Fox’s efforts to stand up for Brexit…

UPDATE: Spokesman for Liam Fox:

“Dr Fox has not logged into Twitter today, therefore we are very concerned into how this could have happened and will be asking the appropriate authorities to investigate this urgently. The tweet has been unliked.”

Guido hopes they find the culprit…

Not So Fantastic Fox

When news emerged last night that Liam Fox was bottling it and backing Number 10’s Brexit plan, Guido cannot imagine a single Brexiter was surprised. Hiring Fox as International Trade secretary has been one of Theresa May’s few shrewd decisions since taking office. Painfully loyal to his old lunch partner – those must have been a laugh riot – and more interested in having a Cabinet job and jet-setting around the world, Fox has capitulated time and time again as Brexit has been softened by Downing Street. His allies insist he makes representations defending Brexit at Cabinet, but if he has you never hear about them and they haven’t achieved anything. He has not said anything publicly to fight his corner as Number 10 repeatedly emasculated his department. DIT has become a total laughing stock in Whitehall. Number 10’s policy of regulatory alignment and a common rulebook on goods and agri-foods significantly reduces our attractiveness to other countries in terms of trade deals. Yesterday Number 10 refused to deny their proposal would limit scope for a trade deal with the US. In any case, the increasingly likely extended customs union membership means trade deals will not be happening before the next election. This was once a Brexiteer red line, but the International Trade secretary has crossed it. Fox went in to Downing Street last night and came out fully backing the PM. Seemingly no one is happy with the plan apart from Fox, whose job and department become largely redundant if it goes ahead. He is the biggest Brexiteer sellout…

Fox First to Fly England Flag

The Department for International Trade is claiming they were “one of – if the not the first dept – to fly the England flag this morning”, following a successful campaign by Nick Boles and The Sun. Whitehall sources, send us your pics… not expecting to hear from the Treasury.

UPDATE: Boris next out of the blocks

Fox: No Form of Customs Union is Acceptable

About time Liam Fox spoke up for his department and made the case for rejecting any form of customs union. Fox told the Today programme that no form of customs union is acceptable and suggested he would resign if the government attempts to further fudge the issue.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Seen Elsewhere



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Liz Truss on the next Tory leader…

“In order to command public trust we need someone who has backed Brexit from the start, because of the situation we’re in now.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
WHO IS BACKING WHO? WHO IS BACKING WHO?
Gove’s Pitch Gove’s Pitch
Farage Milkshaker Unmasked Farage Milkshaker Unmasked
ChUK Blame Game ChUK Blame Game