Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, commenting on Liam Fox's speech at the launch of the World Trade Report, said:
"I'm so pleased that Liam Fox has publicly come out in support of my speech to the Labour conference calling for international trade agreements to work in favour of small businesses and to be based upon fair principles.
"Sadly he appears to have missed the part in my speech where I talk about how this should be delivered.
"Where Labour have set clear mandatory requirements that any country signing a trade agreement with the UK must set out an access strategy to support our SMEs exporting into their market by providing market intelligence; legal and regulatory knowledge; contact points and translation services, Mr Fox has been remarkably devoid of detail on any support he would actually provide.
"Where Labour has explained that trade agreements should not simply be about developing market access, but about developing markets themselves, so that countries can raise their standard of living and afford to buy more of our goods & services, Mr Fox's speech landed just the wrong side of vacuity
"Notwithstanding this, I would happily invite the Secretary of State to join our Just trading group.
"Frankly though, it's bizarre that he suggests on the one hand that we must leave the European Union and then, on the other, calls for trade terms similar to those that we already have with the European Union.
"Mr Fox really does have to come off the fence and let people know what his red lines are."
Notes to Editors:
- Liam Fox's speech to the WTO at the launch of the 'World Trade Report 2016: inclusive trade and SMEs'