PM's pick for World Trade Organisation chief Liam Fox is eliminated

PM’s pick for World Trade Organisation chief Liam Fox is eliminated from selection process after EU states ‘back other candidates’

  • Former Cabinet minister Liam Fox has been eliminated from race to head WTO
  • Did not make it to run off amid claims that EU states voted for other candidates
  • UK is relying on terms set by international body after cutting ties with the bloc 

Boris Johnson’s pick for next head of the World Trade Organisation admitted defeat in his battle for the job today.

Former Cabinet minister Liam Fox has been eliminated in the latest round of voting, ending his hopes of taking charge of the crucial body.

Dr Fox successfully made it through the first round of voting last month, when the field was whittled down from eight to five.

However, crucially the votes of EU states seem to have flowed to other candidates in the latest stage.

The WTO said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea had made it through to the run-off. 

The UK will be relying on the terms set by the trade body for trade with the EU if there is no deal with Brussels before the end of the transition period in January. 

Dr Fox said: ‘I’m proud to have been nominated by the Prime Minister as the UK’s nominee for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Former Cabinet minister Liam Fox (pictured this summer) has been eliminated in the latest round of voting, ending his hopes of taking charge of the crucial body

Dr Fox said he was ‘naturally disappointed’ to have fallen at the latest hurdle in the process

‘Of course I am naturally disappointed not to be continuing further in this contest.

‘It’s been an honour to take part in the selection process over the last few months, to make the arguments on the international stage that are critical to the future of the global trading system, such as renewed commitment to the multilateral rules-based system and about economic empowerment and sustainable development.’

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘Liam Fox ran a strong campaign and he is a passionate advocate for free trade.

‘The PM wishes him all the best for the future.

‘The UK looks forward to working with the successful WTO candidate. We will continue to make the case for WTO reform and help to deliver on the transformation we all want to see.’

The WTO said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria (right) and Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea (left) had made it through to the run-off

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: ‘Liam Fox ran a strong campaign and he is a passionate advocate for free trade.’ (PM pictured in No10 today)

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