Should we feel sorry for Liam Fox?

I spoke on a panel at the end of last year about post-Brexit trade policy and I told the audience I would try to tackle three really tough challenges. The first challenge was to make them feel sorry for the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox.

OK, so it was a silly challenge, aimed partly at waking the audience up and giving them something to laugh about. But I was also trying to make a more serious point about the massive problems facing those in charge of developing UK trade policy. Below is a video of my talk, so you can see if it makes you feel compassionate.  You can also judge for yourself whether I managed to tackle my other two challenges (saying something intelligible about the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy, and inspiring the audience to become involved in the debate about what that trade policy should look like).

Crucially, I end by arguing that we need to start thinking now about how the UK’s trade policy can work to effectively protect a broader social and environmental agenda. Working on that is my biggest New year’s resolution!

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