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British trade minister says Brexit is not the only reason for GDP slowdown

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(Reuters) - Britain's economic slowdown should not be blamed entirely on Brexit, British said on Monday after data showed the economy last year grew at its slowest since 2012.

"Clearly there are those who believe that is the only economic factor applying to the UK economy. I think you'll find that the predicted slowdown in a number of European economies is not disconnected from the slowdown, for example, in China," Fox told a conference in the

"The idea that is the only factor affecting the global economy is just to miss the point," he said.

With just six weeks to go before Britain's scheduled departure from the on March 29, Fox dismissed the chances of another popular vote that could overturn and also dismissed ideas put forward by

"The chances of having a second referendum are as close to nil as I could imagine," he said.

He said the ideas put forward by Corbyn were "not workable", because it was impossible to subscribe to his proposal to have a customs union with the EU while also influencing EU policy.

"To pretend that you could do so is a dangerous delusion," Fox said.

Fox was in to sign a continuity trade deal with Guy Parmelin, to ensure trading relations can continue with as little disruption as possible if Britain leaves the on March 29 without a deal.

About 12 percent of Britain's trade was currently covered by EU free trade deals, and accounted for about a fifth of that, he said.

Fox had previously said Britain would be able to roll over all of the EU's current trade deals, but so far he has only concluded agreements with Chile, the and

"We are confident that we will be able to maintain a very high proportion of that continuity of trade. Of course it's always dependent on other partners wanting to retain that continuity too."

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by and Peter Graff)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 17:01 IST
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