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Trade minister brands some British businesses fat and lazy

Associated Press Associated Press 10/09/2016
FILE- In this Tuesday, April 26, 2011 file photo, the then British Defense Minister Liam Fox speaks during joint statement with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at the Pentagon. According to Fox comments published Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, Britain's trade minister, in charge of forging new international economic links as the country leaves the European Union, says U.K. businesses are too lazy to export goods around the world. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Tuesday, April 26, 2011 file photo, the then British Defense Minister Liam Fox speaks during joint statement with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at the Pentagon. According to Fox comments published Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, Britain's trade minister, in charge of forging new international economic links as the country leaves the European Union, says U.K. businesses are too lazy to export goods around the world. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

LONDON — Britain's trade minister says U.K. businesses generally are too lazy to export goods around the world.

In a speech to pro-free market group Conservative Way Forward, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said some businesspeople would rather "play golf on a Friday afternoon" than fulfill their "duty" to export.

Fox is in charge of forging new international economic links as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

His comments were recorded by the Times of London, which published them Saturday.

"We have become too lazy, and too fat on our successes in previous generations," Fox said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's office said Fox was expressing private views.

Richard Reed, co-founder of smoothie company Innocent drinks said Fox should focus on Britain's post-EU future, "rather than turning around and trash-talking the country."

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