Liam Fox

On Friday morning the Department for International Trade published a press release by the disgraced Liam Fox in effect saying the UK would leave the EU Single Market.

The press release said the UK would seek to trade with the EU under WTO rules.

Here was the key paragraph from that release:

If the UK does exit the European Single Market, it will be governed by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules until any new trade deals are negotiated. We’ll remain a competitive player on the global stage because all major economies and most minor ones are members of the WTO. The WTO requires each member to charge the others the same tariffs and grant them ‘most favoured nation’ market access.


The press release was picked up by Labour’s Chuka Umunna, who pointed out the implications





You get the point – this was a huge admission by the government.

And weren’t even aware of the implications of what they were saying. When the incompetent buffoon realised what he’d done, Fox asked the press release to be pulled.

It’s no longer there. No explanation, just gone. Here’s a Google cache of the press release.

Perhaps the disgraced Liam Fox doesn’t want to publicly admit Vote Leave misled the public.

  1. Why is Liam Fox allowed to do anything more complex than shovelling dung from one pile to another and back again. And he’d probably bollocks that up too!!

  2. Even worse, we’re not even a member of the WTO so we will have to negotiate membership of that too, with every WTO member able to veto our membership if they don’t get the concessions they want from us.

  3. Davis S. Briggs says:

    Perhaps the UK will have to renegotiate membership of the WTO when they relinquish membership of the EU. Have you considered this possibility?

  4. we all have these tarifs….we charge them…they charge us….all evens out. scare…scare….scare.

  5. Tony mcdonald says:

    Our status in the WTO is not a certainty, we are a member of the WTO under the EU we might well have to wait for the committee to meet and that is every two years

  6. Anonymous: It doesn’t all even out. Our export cost more abroad – so sell fewer and imports costs US more in the shops.

  7. The 52% will continue to bury their heads in the sand and keep saying “it’s all fine”…..sure, looks like it’s going brilliantly! It’s a disaster and the sooner that is realised the quicker we can come to our senses!

  8. Anonymous: We don’t have these tariffs within the EU. which bit of “single market” eludes you? If we leave, we have to pay the tariffs, which will be a great deal more than the mythical £350m a week the buffoon Johnson said could be spent on the NHS.

  9. Steve Cooper says:

    It’s quite simple and why the Brexitier have been put in post.

    They either deliver the Brexit they promised or we don’t leave.

  10. Fox will also be aware that the WTO have already told the British government that they do not yet qualify for independent WTO Membership – it will be *YEARS* before we do have our own membership – so the entire thing is a known lie.

  11. 20 years is a bit rough, we still produce goods and technologies that the world wants and we want to buy world goods. It won’t take that long- I mean how would the Japanese or Americans survive without Scotish whisky……mmmmmm Scotish ,well it depends on the SDP then !!

  12. Linda Amoss: why won’t it take that long? What expertise on foreign trade do you bring to the table? Anybody who is actually involved in this type of negotiation will tell you it takes years or decades to negotiate trade deals, and if the UK leaves the EU we will be walking away from a total of 80 existing deals.

  13. we all have these tarifs….we charge them…they charge us….all evens out. scare…scare….scare.

    It DOESN’T even out – they buy less of ours so we have less money to buy theirs at higher prices. Double whammy. Yes, it is scary.

  14. Mike Hamblett says:

    Teresa May put these guys in the Brexit department to punish them – it punishes all of us though. Thanks Mrs May – Maggie may not be proud of you.

  15. John Northcote says:

    Linda Amoss, It is SCOTCH whisky …… and we Scottish are going to keep that market for ourselves.

  16. Well, never mind that and all the other stuff predicted that is starting to come true.

    The two important things to remember are:
    A) “At least we get our country back”.
    B) “Leave won, Remainers should get over it.”

    Have a feeling “I told you so” might become a national catchphrase if this utter mess isn’t sorted out soon.

  17. Peter Ceresole says:

    Why is anybody surprised? The entire Leave campaign- every bit of it, not just little bits here and there- was based on known, provable lies. Voters seem to have been too lazy to check on the lies, although the truth was available.
    The Remain “scare” tactics are turning out to be true,
    And, of course, biggest lie of all, we have “recovered” no control at all, and will clearly end up losing the considerable degree of control that we have (had) within the EU. The Brexit department will spend all their time desperately trying to hold on to any control they can scrape together. And they will fail,
    Brexit is the greatest ballsup that Britain has indulged in in centuries. Every bit of it based on lies and stupidity.
    Still, you asked for it. Idiots.

  18. For Fox sake stop hounding him. How would you like to be so stupid and have to answer to Theresa May.

  19. The uneducated voted to leave and the facts were there.Amazing how uneducated the English population is.Scotland shall soon be out of the hideous unwanted alliance that was thrust on Scotland with no legal basis Saor Alba.

  20. Anthony Green says:

    Teresa May put these guys in the Brexit department to punish them – it punishes all of us though. Thanks Mrs May – Maggie may not be proud of you.

    The way I understand it is that they were put there to attempt to do the impossible job and then come reporting back that Brexit is a total disaster, which gives the Government a far bigger mandate than they have today to re-open the debate

  21. Peter O'Brien says:

    What Liam Fox and the rest of the brexiteers seem to forget is that we currently are still EU members and will remain so until the 1972 European act is repealed and article 50 of the Lisbon treat implemented.

  22. Hallelujah Noel, be it Heaven or Hell, the Brexit you get you deserve.
    We voted in the Eton Trifle Cameron and his love of high stake gambles, we voted for the lies of the Blond bomb site and the treacherous Gove Gollum ‘We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious’.
    Now we reap what we sow. The glory of democracy when referendum is unleashed like the ultimate doomsday weapon.

  23. Teresa Wilson says:

    Odd then that one of the Leave objections to the EU was that we weren’t even a member of the WTO in our own right, but only as a member of the EU. The mere fact that they said it should have been enough to prove it wasn’t true.

  24. The only other country to leave (an earlier version of) the EU was Greenland in 1985. At the time it had a population of 56, 000 and a tiny economy compared to the UK’s. It took Greenland THREE YEARS to negotiate their exit…

  25. The frightening thing is that the UK has sleep walked into a situation that no one, including the Brexit lot, expected. The press release just demonstrates that the Government really has no idea how Brexit will be achieved, and is just putting out press statements without understanding the facts, weeks after the referendum. God help the Country if Government does not understand the issue.

    The sheer volume of legislation is way beyond the capacity of a depleted Civil Service to deliver. The Government does not have the lawyers, negotiators, and general Civil Servants to do the work.

    Perhaps that’s the best hope to stop this idiocy. Brexit won’t be delivered, because there is no one to deliver it. That may not be wishful thinking…..

  26. So, sterling down over 10% post brexit. Average trariff paid by wto developed country 2.4%. ( yes old chuka forgot to mention that didn’t he) = uk exports far more competitive to both eu and non eu post brexit. Also maybe you forgot that we get to impose tariffs on eu goods and we get all those lovely tariffs we levy on foreign goods as tax as well..,listen to the stock market kids – it doesn’t exactly tell you brexit is a disaster – suggest you guys go back to chasing pokemons and leave economics to the adults.

  27. The documents produced by the Leave campaign are very clear: the UK is to leave the common market. And it would make no sense otherwise, remain subject to EU law and regulation but lose voting rights at the Parliament and Council.

    It will be easier to find a pink unicorn than to get access to the common market without complying to the conditions set by the Treaty of Rome.

  28. colin garner says:

    Capitalism. Capitalism capitalism capitalism capitalism capitalism capitalism. Capitalism capitalism. Down with capitalism. Its not higher wages we need .we want our money to be worth more to us the people of England . Take control of and nationalise all our industry and force prices down. All we do each day is paye for capitalism & shareholders . The lucky 2% of this country. Be warned. All political parties are now being invested with ex Conservative politicians and they are trying there best to control democracy.

  29. Mike Snowden says:

    The UK is a member by right of being in the EU – all EU countries are, and therefore our date of accession is the same as the EU’s.
    If we leave, we have to join again.
    More importantly, WTO rules do not enable trading, until the “non tariff barriers” have been negotiated too. These will require thousands of bilateral agreements, to avoid every product needed specific checking, through specific import ports.

    And WTO rules do not cover services, which is where the majority of UK foreign earnings come from. Yet again, Fox shows he doesn’t know much about international trade regulation.

  30. ‘ The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right. ‘ (above from WTO website)- so we are members whether in the EU or not… but this comment page reveals the problems with the whole argument… knowing ferkall about a subject has never stopped everyone expressing an opinion as divine fact:)

  31. james churchill says:

    Leave Liability Fox (or should that be Lie-ability?) alone. This is a just a minor mark on his reputation (he did recall it after all!) Instead, let him really make a full blown cock-up (he will). We need to see the full range of his incompetence before asking for his mates in the Hare and Hounds to come and finish him off.

  32. Who gives a F***g F**k, Whatever is said, or alleged to be said, by the warring politicians rarely equates to s**t for those who pay them or age associated bills.
    Our supposed duty is to pick up the mess they make. What is it called…..Oh yes…the voice of the people…no, Democracy!
    Well it’s not fir for purpose right now….

  33. We will be able to do a deal with China, on our own terms, outside the EU. We owe them so much money for all the high street goods we’ve been buying, without exporting much in return – so we can start to pay them back now. By relaxing our human rights legislation and data privacy, we’ll be able to have a much more open relationship, opening up access to our financial services industry, now that large scale manufacturing has gone. Don’t see what all this fuss is about really. Let’s get on and trade, on our own terms !


    United Kingdom and the WTO

    This page gathers information on the United Kingdom’s participation in the WTO. The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right.

  35. Donal Savage says:

    We are probably a WTO member in our own right. But we have no tariff schedules registered with the WTO in our own right. The May Government is proposing copying the EU Schedules word for word to allow the WTO to accept our ability to trade. Unfortunately, like the EU, the WTO is a membership democracy. The member countries delegate negotiation responsibility to WTO representatives, but final agreement lies with the WTO members. No one has any idea how this will work out. No one has a clue if we are able to trade from Brexit Day 1. And unfortunately, there are lots of Sovereign Nations out there deeply pissed off that the UK is forcing them to spend time and money to look at this for more than a millisecond. Those Sovereign Nations which actually like us, and haven’t been at war with us, occupied by us, or haven’t spotted a way to gain economic advantage for themselves by pissing on us. Democracy!

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