British business leaders are 'fat and lazy' and more interested in golf than exporting, says Liam Fox

'This country is not the free-trading nation that it once was'

Saturday 10 September 2016 09:07
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Britain has grown “fat and lazy” and business leaders are more interested in playing golf than exporting, according to Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Dr Fox, who was a prominent Brexit supporter, said there was now the chance to “change the culture” and businesses need to start thinking of exporting as a “duty” not an “opportunity”.

His remarks were recorded while the former GP was talking at an event in the House of Commons to supporters of the Conservative Way Forward group.

According to The Times, Dr Fox said: “This country is not the free-trading nation that it once was. We have become too lazy and too fat on our successes in previous generations.

“What is the point of us reshaping global trade, what is the point of us going out and looking for new markets for the United Kingdom, if we don’t have the exporters to fill those markets?

“We’ve got to change the culture in our country. People have got to stop thinking about exporting as an opportunity and start thinking about it as a duty – companies who could be contributing to our national prosperity but choose not to because it might be too difficult or too time-consuming or because they can’t play golf on a Friday afternoon.”

Dr Fox was one of several high-profile Brexiteers given ministerial positions by Theresa May.

He recently claimed the future of the controversial TTIP trade agreement between the US and EU looked “less than secure” but said the UK still supported the deal.

Downing Street said Dr Fox’s comments about business leaders did not represent the views of the Government, The Times reported.

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