In a rallying cry, Tory MP Richard Graham said International Trade Secretary Liam Fox was “steering a new battleship” towards a new trading path for the UK.
Dr Fox last week faced criticism for preaching “shared values” with the Philippines on a trip to promote worldwide trade.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Theresa May’s trade envoy to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and the ASEAN economic bloc, said forging the UK’s own trade agreements would “take time” but work was already being done.
Mr Graham said: “He’s creating a new entity from four or five different parts and pulling that together, getting it set up, steering a new battleship in the right direction so that everybody’s agreed and focused on the mission, which is to go and seek our own path in the future, our own trade agreements.
Richard Graham said Dr Fox was "steering a new battleship" for UK trade
It’s going to take time and we’re going to have to re-build some of the skills that we used to have before we sub-contracted this to the European Union
“It’s going to take time and we’re going to have to re-build some of the skills that we used to have before we sub-contracted this to the European Union.
“I think what Liam has done is shown enormous energy in getting around the world and identifying who are the key partners we want to work with in the first place and focusing on them but not forgetting about the medium size players.”
Dr Fox’s department was created after the Brexit vote and aims to take advantage of trading opportunities across the globe.
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
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Last week, he met with Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who has previously bragged of personally killing suspected criminals.
More than 7,000 people have been killed in Mr Duterte's campaign against drugs, according to police figures, causing widespread condemnation.
In an article for the Philippines' Business World, Dr Fox wrote: "The UK and the Philippines have a well-established and strong relationship built on a foundation of shared values and shared interests and we want this partnership to continue to flourish."