Tom Brake is in good form in a Liberal Democrat press release from today.
“Duterte is one of the 21st century’s most sinister leaders and Liam Fox has flown halfway around the world to grovel to him. The fact that the first visit made by Fox since triggering Article 50 is to the Philippines shows just how low this government is willing to stoop in order to secure even a minimal trade deal in the future.
“According to UK trade statistics, the value of our exports to the Philippines are just £500 million a year- to put this into context our total international trade is currently over £28 billion a month.
"So not only is Fox blind to the horrific human rights abuses and endemic corruption in the Philippines, he’s also clearly oblivious to the actual realities of doing trade with them.
"No amount of pandering to corrupt regimes can replace our membership of the Single Market, which is why the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against the hard, divisive Brexit this government is pursuing."Talking of Liam Fox, let us read an old article by John Elledge to remind us of why he was obliged to resign as defence secretary in 2011:
He allowed his close friend and best man, Adam Werrity, to take up an unofficial and undeclared role in which he attended meetings at the Ministry of Defence without first obtaining security clearance. Werrity had access to Fox’s diary, printed business cards announcing himself as his advisor, and even joined him at meetings with foreign dignitaries.
An investigation by then cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell found that Fox had shown a lack of judgement by blurring the lines between his official role and his personal friendships.
His report concluded: “The disclosure outside the MoD of details about future visits overseas posed a degree of security risk not only to Dr Fox, but also to the accompanying official party.”