British executives prefer to play golf rather than fulfilling their "duty" as exporters, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has suggested in an extraordinary attack on the country's "lazy" business culture.
The Cabinet minister suggested the UK had lost its way as a trading nation and had grown "too fat" on the successes of previous generations.
In his unguarded comments at a reception for the Thatcherite Conservative Way Forward group, Dr Fox said Britain's business attitudes have to adapt.
He said: "We've got to change the culture in our country. People have got to stop thinking about exporting as an opportunity and start thinking about it as a duty - companies who could be contributing to our national prosperity but choose not to because it might be too difficult or too time-consuming or because they can't play golf on a Friday afternoon."
But then Twitter thought...hang on a moment...
UK business "too lazy and fat", says Liam Fox, the man who, rather than walk, claimed 3p for a 90 metre car journey pic.twitter.com/hfT7DnzAmr
-- will thorpe (@withorpe) September 10, 2016
Yes, remember that? The same man who claimed 3pm in travel costs is calling people lazy.
Oh and erm...
-- Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) September 10, 2016
The same man who is grilling people for playing golf...likes to play a spot himself.
I think Liam Fox was talking about himself: "We have become too lazy, and too fat on our successes in previous generations". Some people!
-- Michael Cashman (@mcashmanCBE) September 10, 2016
-- Paul Bernal (@PaulbernalUK) September 10, 2016
Very interesting indeed.