A GREENOCK born diplomat has been headhunted by the UK Government to play a leading role in Brexit.

World trade expert Crawford Falconer, pictured, who lived in Hole Farm Road before emigrating to New Zealand with his parents, will now be the chief trade negotiator when the

UK leaves the European Union.

The former World Trade Organisation ambassador and New Zealand minister will work with the international trade secretary Liam Fox to secure trade deals around the globe.

The Greenock arm of Crawford’s family are bursting with pride at his hugely significant appointment.

His cousin Heather Bouman, speaking for the Falconer family, said: “We are very proud of Crawford, the whole family.

“We are a very humble, hard working and down to earth family.

“Crawford and his sister Wilma, who works for the New Zealand government, are the same.

“We had no idea how important their jobs were.

“My grandfather Alex Falconer would be so proud of Crawford, like he would be of us all.

“My grandfather was a very proud Greenock man.”
Crawford was a former pupil of Mearns Street School and emigrated with his parents William and Kathy Crawford when he was five years old.

The family stayed in touch and his youngster sister Wilma, born in New Zealand, has visited Greenock many times.

Crawford’s relatives, including Heather’s mum Jean and her sisters Rose and Ruth, are all very proud of their nephew.

He will take up his role in the summer and has already headed for the US to help shore up links in Washington.

He will be tasked with negotiating free trade deals in the rest of the world.

Welcoming his appointment, the new international trade secretary Liam Fox, from East Kilbride, said: “Crawford brings extensive experience of trade negotiation and foreign affairs and will play a key leadership role.”

Speaking about his new post Crawford said: “As the world’s fifth largest economic power, the UK will bring much needed leadership to the international trade agenda. 

“I am absolutely delighted to join this hugely exciting new journey.”