Liam Fox has announced a new board of trade with just one member – himself.
Announcing the board today the Department for International Trade said it would “ensure the benefits of free trade are spread throughout the UK”, naming more than a dozen advisers to the body including former ministers and business leaders.
However, the Secretary of State for International Trade is the only official member of the board and would be its chair.
To put that into context, a previous (1992) President of the Board of Trade was Michael Heseltine, and almost the whole Cabinet including the Prime Minister reported to him.
A previous (1992) President of the Board of Trade was Michael Heseltine. Almost the whole Cabinet, inc. the PM, reported to him. pic.twitter.com/WHEBGNGwmB
— Martin Stanley (@ukcivilservant) October 12, 2017
Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman, told the Guardian that the board was a “job-creation scheme” for Fox.
“The secretary of state, no doubt embarrassed by his lack of a real role in government beyond accumulating millions of air miles, has had to invent a grandiose title for himself,” he said.
“It will convince nobody. The signing of the first trade deals are years away, whereas the damage to our existing largest trade deal, with the EU, is happening now.”