Liam Fox is telling porkies about £16bn post-Brexit foreign investment

More faux facts from Fox


Disgraced former Defence Secretary turned trade wallah Liam Fox has been caught trying to pull a fast one on the sunny uplands of Brexit Britain.

The Secretary of State for International Trade claimed his new department, set up by new PM Theresa May in July after the EU referendum, had brought in £16 billion of foreign investment ‘since its creation’.

The figure was hailed by the pro-Brexit press and senior Brexiteers.

Former Justice Secretary Michael Gove said ‘the prophets of doom have once again been found wanting’, while ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said it proved Britain ‘can do anything, anytime and anywhere’.

Fox called it a ‘clear vote of confidence in the UK and our strong economy post-Brexit’.

But as the Financial Times reports today, many of the deals hailed by the DIT were secured before it even existed, and before the EU referendum. 

These include:

  • Danish firm Dong Energy’s £60 million recycling and energy plant in Northwich, Cheshire – a project announced in 2015 and approved in February 2016
  • US firm Wheelabrator Technologies’s joint project with SSE to regenerate a power station in West Yorkshire – which was announced in 2012
  • US-based Calysta’s new agritech facility in the Tees Valley – first announced in January 2016.

For more details read the FT’s report (£)

When the FT confronted Fox’s team with this, it claimed the £16 billion figure was based on deals that can’t be made public because of confidentiality agreements.

This doesn’t explain why they cited deals that pre-date the creation of their department and the EU referendum, rolled them into a big-sounding number, and claimed it as proof of the glories of Brexit Britain!

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

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