Welcome To Briefings For Brexit

Providing factual evidence and reasoned arguments.

Editor's Note

Dr Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary, has said that Boris Johnson’s plan to strike an immediate Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump is illegal. Dr Fox told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on Monday that "We can't negotiate anything with the US until after we have left the European Union … It would be in breach of European law for us to do that" – and presumably to negotiate with any other country either. This is an astonishing statement to make. The EU does not occupy the entire field of the UK's international relations. The need to plan with potential trade partners (call it 'negotiation,' call it 'preliminary discussions', call it whatever one likes) is self-evident. To preclude such planning is to frustrate the right of exit and thus is incompatible with Article 50 and with the reserved sovereign rights of EU Member States. It also makes one wonder precisely what Dr Fox’s Department for International Trade has been doing all these months.

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