Liam Fox spent nearly £23,000 of public money on overseas trips in just three months, the Department for International Trade have admitted today.
According to DIT’s latest release of Department gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings, £22,984.04 was spent on Fox’s overseas trips. This included nearly £9,000 to visit the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, which between them account for less than one per cent of total UK exports.
Fox also visited the United States, Oman and Japan.
Commenting, Heidi Alexander MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“Taxpayers will be astonished to learn that Liam Fox is splashing their cash to travel around the world – and hasn’t got a single free trade deal to show for it.
“The reality is that we can’t negotiate trade agreements until we leave the EU and our future trading relationship with the bloc is known, which could take years.
“The Government’s reckless decision to leave the Customs Union is endangering our trade with Europe, which buys half of everything we sell. And there is no sign that future deals with far-flung countries could ever replace that trade.
“Theresa May should reverse her damaging decision to leave the Customs Union, instead of letting Liam Fox spend public money to rack up the airmiles.”
Notes to editors:
The DIT information is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dit-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-april-to-june-2017
During April-June 2017, Fox went on the following overseas trips:
Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia: £8,996.27
United States: £2,950.67
According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2015 UK exports to the Philippines were worth £0.5bn; to Indonesia £0.9bn; and to Malaysia £2.3bn, making a total of £3.7bn.
In 2015, total UK exports were £517.446bn. So exports to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia accounted for just 0.72% of UK exports.