Wednesday 1 February 2017 3:43 pm

Liam Fox admits the UK is unlikely to hit its trillion pound export target

International trade secretary Liam Fox has said it is "unlikely" the UK will achieve a long-stated goal of reaching one trillion pounds in exports of goods and services by 2020.

Former chancellor George Osborne established the goal in the 2012 "march of the makers" Budget as part of plan to bolster the British economy and boost manufacturing.

But Fox told MPs today that while it was "good for us to have the ambition to do it", low global growth was to blame for missing the target.

"I think it is unlikely to be achieved by 2020. I think it's an achievable target in the years thereafter" Fox said.

"In terms of the level of growth and global trade at the moment…that would make that difficult to achieve."

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The disclosure came in front of the International Trade Select Committee, where Fox also said the UK would be seeking legal advice to clarify the precise limitations on the government's trade talks ahead of exiting the European Union in 2019.

Fox added he had already shared preliminary trade talks with China, India and Australia and several Gulf states.