The Institute of Directors (IoD) says the UK should not prioritise making trade deals around the world at the expense of maintaining close ties with the European Union following Brexit.

The business lobby group says the government needs to boost trade with both the EU and the rest of the world to make “global Britain” ambitions a reality.

Polling of almost 800 company directors by the IoD found the EU has provided stronger growth for British firms selling goods overseas than Asia or North America over the past two years.

Its food for thought as the international trade secretary Liam Fox seeks to strike deals with the rest of the world.