Liam Fox has written an article for The Sun in which he encourages Britain’s small businesses to become ‘intrepid exporters’ whilst reinforcing the view that Brexit is a pathway by which the UK can become a trading superpower.
The International Trade Secretary has been busy on the public relations front, sharing positive and motivational business call-to-arms in a bid to change the commercial mindset in the run-up to 29th March from that of retreat to a tone of conquering instead.
The main line is hard to argue with – countries and businesses around the world want to business with Britain, as Fox writes: “EVERYWHERE I go across the world, everyone I meet tells me that they believe in Britain.
“They want to buy British products, use British services, learn English. They trust our laws and our financial services, they admire our Armed Forces and they envy our universities.
“Actually, that’s not quite true: everywhere I go in the world, except right here in the UK.
“Britain can and should be confident and the world needs a confident Britain. A confident Britain can bang the drum for free trade across the world, as more and more countries look to pull up the drawbridge and turn away from the huge benefits that we have seen in poverty alleviation.”
Fox’s article prepends a week in which Theresa May has been dancing her way from one African state to another discussing future trade, whilst the rhetoric in Brussels has also changed from that of playing hardball to a little friendly, maybe even neighbourly, support, with Michel Barnier teasing that “We are prepared to offer a partnership with Britain such as has never been with any other third country.”
Two days later though and headlines on any Brexit-related Google search are met with the following headlines:
– Barnier ‘strongly opposed’ to May’s Brexit plan
– RBS warns of no-deal Brexit loss of customers
Still a long way to go then.