BREXIT GROUNDWORK Liam Fox launches UK's bid to join World Trade Organisation as independent member


Trade Secretary decisively paved the way for Brexit by preparing for inevitable split from EU

TRADE SECRETARY Liam Fox fired a shot across the EU’s bows yesterday by launching Brexit Britain’s bid to become an independent member of the World Trade Organisation.

In a formal statement, the Tory said the Government was “preparing” the groundwork to split from the EU at the 164-member organisation.

Liam Fox


Liam Fox has started to get the ball rolling on Brexit

World Trade Organisation

World Trade Organization

He has launched Britain’s bid to become an independent member of the WTO

He said the UK was preparing a draft schedule of trading commitments – from tariffs to quotas – adding that Britain would seek to “replicate” the current obligations it has as an EU member.

Mr Fox said: “This work is a necessary part of our leaving the EU. It does not prejudge the outcome of the eventual UK-EU trading arrangements.”

The Government was immediately accused of driving Britain towards an “economically disastrous” hard Brexit by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Tim Farron

PA:Press Association

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claimed the bid was a move towards a ‘hard Brexit’

Philip Hammond and David Davis

Getty Images

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis spoke to bankers yesterday

The fierce Europhile added: “The Liberal Democrats believe that the public should have a say through a vote on the final deal, because departure is not the same as direction.”

Yesterday Brexit Secretary David Davis and Chancellor Philip Hammond held a joint meeting with City and bank chiefs to “discuss the opportunities” offered by Brexit.

The talks followed a flurry of speculation over the weekend that the pair were now working together on Britain’s departure from the EU and had former a “small clique” in Government.

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox speaking on free trade post Brexit

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