Phew: The department for international trade now has a chief economist

 
Emma Haslett
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The department was established after the Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of the office of rail and road has gone off the rails - after the newly-established department of international trade poached him to as its new chief economist.

The department, established after the Brexit vote, said today that Richard Price, who has run the office of rail and road for the past five years, has been appointed as chief economist and head of analysis.

He's previously held rose at Defra, the home office, the cabinet office and the Treasury.

Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said Price's expertise will be "vital in building the analytical capability of the department".

The department for international trade will play a vital role after the government triggers Article 50 and begins Brexit negotiations in March.

Last month its parliamentary undersecretary, Mark Garnier, reassured an audience at the British Bankers' Association's annual conference that the City is still an important part of the economy, after the new Conservative government was dubbed anti-business by some.

Not least thanks to comments by Fox himself: he blasted businesses as "too lazy and fat" and said executives were more interested in playing golf than focusing their energies on overseas exports.

"Without banks, the economy, quite frankly, would seize up," said Garnier.

"[The EU] are going to be our friends. They are going to be our allies. And, most importantly, they are going to be our trading partners," he added.

Let's hope so.

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