Ex-minister slams May's Brexit team as 'mad and clueless'

Lord O'Neill, who served in the Treasury under George Osborne, said it was 'mad' for ministers to focus on relatively small markets such as New Zealand

Lord O'Neill, who served in the Treasury under George Osborne, said it was 'mad' for ministers to focus on relatively small markets such as New Zealand

A former minister has torn into Theresa May's 'clueless' Brexit team saying their strategy for boosting trade outside the EU is 'fantasy'.

Lord O'Neill, who served in the Treasury under George Osborne, branded Boris Johnson 'ludicrous' and said it was 'mad' for ministers to focus on relatively small markets such as New Zealand.

He said it had taken far too long for the government to pay attention to the massive potential of China.

The bruising comments by the former Golman Sachs banker - who famously coined the term 'BRIC' to describe the emerging global economies - came as Trade Secretary Liam Fox demanded more optimism about the UK's prospects outside of the EU.

It has emerged that the government is considering joining a Pacific trade zone with Canada and Mexico after Brexit.

The move would make the UK the first member of the the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that does not border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea. Ministers believe it could send a dramatic signal about our global ambitions.

The TPP group lost its largest member when

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