Liam Fox might think that free trade is based on patriotism, but the research suggests otherwise, says The Independent [Image: Reuters].

Like This Writer The Independent has had enough of Brexit, it seems:

Liam Fox might think that free trade is based on patriotism, but the research suggests otherwise [Image: Reuters].

Not long ago there was an official Government target for UK exports.

“We want to double our nation’s exports to £1 trillion this decade,” the former Chancellor, George Osborne, proclaimed in his 2012 Budget speech.

The forecast for 2020, the date when we were supposed to hit the magic £1 trillion number? £575bn. So a miss by a mere £425bn.

Brexit itself can’t possibly be the problem for its champions, so other culprits have been identified by Liam Fox. “I can agree as many trade agreements as I like, but if British business doesn’t want to export, then that doesn’t do us any good,” he said in an interview last week.

Leaving aside the aching hypocrisy, the flawed economic worldview such comments betray is notable. Fox seems to see strong export-growth as something that relies, fundamentally, on vigour and patriotism from firms. In fact, the evidence suggests it requires a dense framework of state support from above and below.

Source: Britain’s economy is in trouble not because of Brexit but because of the denial and hypocrisy of leading Brexiteers


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