They’re known as the Three Brexiteers – the ministers who all campaigned to leave the EU and are now shaping the UK’s foreign relations for years to come. Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox have been racking up the air miles to put the UK’s case…
The foreign secretary has been setting a furious pace in terms of globe-trotting, seemingly spending as much time abroad as he has at home – even during the general election campaign.
Of course, he has the edge on his cabinet colleagues as it is his job to be the UK’s chief ambassador. His remit includes the full gamut of diplomacy and maintaining inter-state political relations, not just preparing the ground for Brexit and beyond.
His travels have taken him to Australasia, East Asia, West Africa and the Balkans among other parts of the world. He pulled rank by being the first British minister to travel to Washington after Donald Trump’s election as president.
Notable omissions on his itinerary so far include Russia and China.
Mr Johnson was due to visit Moscow in April but this was called off amid tensions over Syria. Like his boss, Prime Minister Theresa May, the offer of a visit to Beijing has yet to come but this is expected later this year.
The list would be even longer but we’ve not included EU and Nato foreign ministers’ meetings in Brussels and the Iraq and Syria conferences in Paris, and Shimon Peres’ funeral in Israel
The international trade secretary is the man with the task of banging the drum for British business overseas, with at least one eye on negotiating free trade deals after the UK leaves the EU.
While not quite keeping up with Mr Johnson, he has covered plenty of ground himself.
As an unabashed Atlanticist who is very much at home over the pond, it was no great surprise that his first destination was the US and that he has also found time in his diary to visit Canada.
Other important strategic destinations include the Gulf – he has been on three separate occasions – and India – which in many respects is the biggest but most challenging prize for the UK in the post-Brexit trade scramble.
His visits to Europe have been notably and understandably less frequent, with Germany being his destination of choice.
The Brexit secretary has been limited in the amount of time he can spend overseas and also where he can go, as his focus is squarely on the negotiations with the EU.
He has had to devote much of his time to setting up his department from scratch, fighting Article 50 court cases, piloting legislation through the Commons and preparing for Brexit negotiations.
While the EU has specifically ruled out the UK pursuing bilateral talks with individual European countries, Mr Davis has still been out and about, taking his message to European capitals and seeking to deepen understanding of the UK’s intentions and positions.
He has just about covered most of Scandinavia – but more important, strategically, were his early visits to the Republic of Ireland and Spain – two countries for whom Brexit will have major practical repercussions.
He has yet to make it to Paris but has spent plenty of time opposite his French negotiating counterpart Michel Barnier in Brussels.