David Prosser: The trade vacancy that is still to be filled

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Outlook The appointment of Lord Brittan as the Government's new trade adviser should make for some entertaining explosions from a certain class of Tory backbencher – Douglas Carswell yesterday described him as "a man whose career saw him help lock UK trade ever more tightly into the sclerotic, high tax/high regulation eurozone" – but makes some sense. If a man who spent so many years working as the European Union's trade commissioner can't help to further Britain's cause with its biggest trading partner, goodness knows who can.

Still, this appointment again underlines the fact that more than three months after coming to office, there is one ministerial appointment still to be made by the Government. When will the Prime Minister persuade someone to take the job of Trade minister, the role that the former Standard Chartered boss Lord Davies held prior to the election?

The problem, apparently, is that the big hitters from the private sector who would bring credibility to the job keep turning it down, bridling at the lack of pay and the restrictions on other interests. In which case, maybe some of the £500 a day that Lord Brittan is to be paid should be redirected.

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