LIAM Fox says he will “miss” Boris Johnson in the Cabinet and it’s a “great pity” that he quit over Brexit.
The International Trade Secretary told LBC this morning that he’s sure the ex-Foreign Secretary will still play a part in politics.
Getty Images – Getty Liam Fox, meeting Donald Trump on Thursday, says he’ll miss Boris in the cabinet
Speaking almost a week after his pal chucked in the towel and said he couldn’t support Mrs May’s Brexit plans anymore, Dr Fox said: “Boris is a great friend of mine and I think it’s a great pity that he left the cabinet.
“And I have to say that personally I shall miss him.”
Mr Johnson followed Brexit Secretary David Davis out the door, who quit just 24 hours before him.
Dr Fox added that the rest of the party will surely miss him too, but that “Boris and David Davis will continue to make a big contribution”.
London News Pictures Boris quit the Government last week over Mrs May’s Brexit plans
AFP or licensors The Trade Secretary said he was sure the ex-Foreign Secretary would still play a part in Brexit
He added that he had “very positive” discussions with President Trump about Brexit and future trade deals, after The Sun’s explosive interview with the President yesterday.
President Trump warned Theresa May that any attempts to maintain close ties with the EU would make a lucrative US trade deal very unlikely.
Mr Trump said: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”
But Dr Fox, who met Mr Trump and Melania as the couple touched down in London on Thursday, played down The Sun’s interview, saying that he had spoken to the President at great length during their black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace.
“The President made it very clear in his press conference, that the US is still very keen [on a trade deal],” he added.
Reuters Dr Fox (back left) who met Mr Trump at the airport on Thursday, said a trade deal was still on the cards
EPA Theresa May and husband Philip pose for pictures with Donald and Melania Trump at Blenheim Palace
Yesterday in a rapid about-turn overnight, the President confessed he had apologised for his diatribe, and for revealing that she had ignored his advice.
Mr Trump instead insisted on Brexit: “Whatever you do is OK with me”.
He held Mrs May’s hand as they descended the garden steps to their outdoor press conference in the grounds of her country retreat.
And he gushed: “This incredible woman right here is doing a fantastic job. I mean that.
“She is a tough negotiator, very smart and determined.
“And I must say, I have gotten to know Theresa May much better over the last two days than I have known her over the last year and a half.
“I think she’s a terrific woman. I think she’s doing a terrific job. And that Brexit is a very tough situation, that’s a tough deal.”
AFP Donald Trump heaped praise on Theresa May but urged her to make sure her Brexit deal lets Britain strike a trade agreement with the US
Dr Fox went out to try and defend Mrs May’s Brexit Chequers deal today, insisting that Britain would be “still in control of the things that really matter” – like setting tariffs.
He told BBC Radio 4: “We have been discussing with American officials exactly what the agreement at chequers meant.
“Some have not fully understood the freedoms that the UK will have.”
The Soft Brexit agreement in 6 bullet points
THERESA May’s UK-Free Trade Area:
“Common rulebook” would keep British producers bound by EU rules on goods – including farmers. Parlament would oversee these rules – but deciding not to abide by them would have “consequences”. Joint UK-EU Committee to oversee and rule on disputes but these would be settled based on more than 40 years of EU laws. Britain to effectively stay in the EU’s customs union – described as a “combined customs territory” – to avoid hard border with Ireland. Britain to be responsible for collecting EU tariffs and implementing EU trade policy for goods passing through the UK. Britain to leave EU rules for services – with banks losing crucial EU passporting rights that allows them to sell their services across Europe. Donald Trump looks forward to trade deal with the UK after Brexit