“From the repeal of the Corn Laws to the founding of GATT - the UK has always been a champion of free trade.”

Liz Truss, Twitter

March 3, 2020

Facts

Liz Truss tweeted: “From the repeal of the Corn Laws to the founding of GATT - the UK has always been a champion of free trade.”

As economics commentator Oliver Kamm pointed out, the UK implemented various protectionist measures after Britain left the gold standard, such as the 1931 Abnormal Importation Duties Act, which gave the Treasury the power to impose or raise duties up to 100% on specific imported goods which were imported in “abnormal quantities.” The Import Duties Act 1932 introduced a general tariff of 10% on most imports.

We asked the Department for International Trade about Ms Truss’ comments. It said: “The Minister has no comment to make on this.”

Verdict

Liz Truss’s statement was incorrect. 

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