9 low points of International Trade Secretary Liam Fox’s car crash interview

The disgraced former defence secretary speaks. Nonsense.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

Liam Fox, who had to resign from cabinet in 2011 for breaking the ministerial code by styling his mate Adam Werritty as an adviser and bringing him into official meetings, has proved yet again why he’s rubbish at government.

As International Trade Secretary (look, in Theresa May’s defence, there weren’t any suitable senior Brexiteers to choose from for her cabinet), Fox is notorious for spouting nonsense about Brexit.

Remember when he said a free trade agreement with the EU should be “one of the easiest in human history” to negotiate? Or when he promised he’d have “up to 40” trade deals “ready for one second after midnight” when the UK leaves the EU this March?

Well, he continued in this dishonourable tradition in an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning:

1 “We’re not telling them [business leaders in Davos] to prepare ‘for’, we’re telling to prepare ‘in case of’ a no deal Brexit”

So, to “prepare for”, then.

2 “We can find ways of dealing with those issues [of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland]. I think there are ways in terms of the technology we have, cooperation we could have, mutual recognition – a whole range of ways in which we can deal with that.”

That’s it, the Irish border question and the biggest obstacle to Theresa May passing her deal, SOLVED in one sentence by Dr L Fox. And there’s not just one solution, there’s a “whole range”! Why didn’t you tell us earlier, you beautiful genius?

3 “Some of the amendments being spoken about where the House of Commons would take control over the initiation of legislation – there’s a real danger here, and it’s a much bigger constitutional one… The danger is you change our constitutional conventions.”

Yep. Liam Fox, ladies and gentleman, warning someone else’s actions could result in unintended consequences and a constitutional crisis. Accusing someone else of disrespecting the norms of UK politics. Accusing someone else of being a danger to the parliamentary system. Liam Fox.

4 “I think the worst outcome in this political process would be for Parliament, having given a guarantee to voters, that they would honour the result of the referendum to turn round and break that contract with the voters.”

The worst outcome. The worst outcome?

5 “Think about the political consequences as well as the short-term economic consequences.”

Guys, lighten up about those pesky economic consequences! Who needs money? Or insulin? Or clean drinking water…

6 “I think the most calamitous outcome would be for Parliament having promised to respect the result of the referendum to turn around and say they wouldn’t.”

And again.

7 “What you’re actually asking is: is having no Brexit a sustainable picture at all?”

No, he’s not. Delaying Article 50 wouldn’t stop Brexit.

8 “I think the most dangerous thing for Britain politically is for Brexit to be denied to the British people when they were explicitly promised it by the Parliament.”

And again, folks.

9 “It would open up a gulf of trust between Parliament and the people.”

Imagine a politician acting in a way that degrades public trust? Just imagine!

I'm a mole, innit.

Free trial CSS