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…

mdi-timer 6th July 2018 @ 2:39 pm 6th Jul 2018 @ 2:39 pm mdi-comment Comments
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

mdi-timer 28th June 2018 @ 10:23 am 28th Jun 2018 @ 10:23 am mdi-comment Comments
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. As Guido reported yesterday, Sajid Javid joining the Brexit sub-committee could tip the balance away from Number 10’s ‘customs partnership’ towards the Brexiters’ preferred Max Fac solution. It’s make your mind up time…

mdi-timer 1st May 2018 @ 9:00 am 1st May 2018 @ 9:00 am mdi-comment Comments
Fox on Customs Union

Liam Fox:

“Remaining in a customs union would only make any sense if we were to give up our global ambitions. Tomorrow’s choices would be limited to today’s status quo.”

mdi-timer 27th February 2018 @ 12:51 pm 27th Feb 2018 @ 12:51 pm mdi-comment Comments
Starmer: Labour Wants A Customs Union and Could Join Tory Rebels

Keir Starmer confirms Labour remainers have secured a policy shift to staying in a customs union with the EU. The Labour leadership has been gradually unravelling its previously guarded position on the issue over the past week. Starmer hinted Labour could join Tory rebels and throw its weight behind cross-party amendments, saying:

“We haven’t made a final decision on that but they are so close to our amendments … but whether it’s our amendments or cross-bench amendments.”

All eyes will be on Jeremy Corbyn’s set piece speech on the issue tomorrow to see the detail on how far the Shadow Cabinet remainers have pushed Jezza. Liam Fox warned Tory rebels:

“I hope that they will have an open mind and listen to what the Prime Minister says because I think that what the Prime Minister will set out will deal with a lot of the reservations that they have.”

May has little option but to make this a confidence vote and challenge remain rebels to back her or sack her…

mdi-timer 25th February 2018 @ 11:41 am 25th Feb 2018 @ 11:41 am mdi-comment Comments
Fox: Corbyn ‘Undermined UK Security’ During Cold War

Liam Fox explains (to ‘Red Andy’, no less) the big picture issue raised by Spygate:

“I think that the Labour left during the Cold War were extremely unhelpful to this country. We believed that we should see off Communism, we believed we should see off tyranny… I certainly think the Labour left were the Soviet Union’s useful idiots during that period…

“Jeremy Corbyn and others were very useful to the Soviet Union during the Cold War because they undermined the arguments of the West… I think in the broadest sense he was undermining the security of our country by siding with the Soviet Union in that argument and I think that was very damaging to the country. Luckily it was our side of the argument not Jeremy Corbyn’s that won the day. I think he certainly undermined the security of the United Kingdom by their one-sided disarmament and their very clear preference for a Soviet style communism during that period – fortunately we beat them then and we have to beat them now.”

Well put…

mdi-timer 25th February 2018 @ 11:05 am 25th Feb 2018 @ 11:05 am mdi-comment Comments
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