Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, has launched an attack on Britain for “growing fat and lazy”, making it ill-prepared for the business deals that need to be done after leaving the EU.
Fox, a former GP and staunch Eurosceptic, suggested business executives would rather be playing golf on a Friday afternoon than negotiating export deals.
He made the remarks, first reported by the Times, at a Conservative Way Forward event for business leaders in parliament.
“If you want to share in the prosperity of our country, you have a duty to contribute to the prosperity of our country,” he said. “This country is not the free-trading nation that it once was. We have become too lazy, and too fat on our successes in previous generations.This kind of criticism might have carried more weight if Dr Fox and his fellow Brexiteers (i) had undertaken some kind of pre-referendum planning about how to take Brexit forward and (ii) had not spent all summer jockeying for position rather than getting on with their respective jobs.