UK prime minister Theresa May has appointed Liam Fox as the new secretary of state for international trade, bringing with it changes to the UK’s trade and investment departments.

Both the UK Export and Finance (UKEF) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) , which were part of the former department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will move to be under the wings of the International Trade Department (ITD), led by Fox.

The two departments were formerly led by minister of state for trade and finance Lord Price. There have been no formal announcements on the status of Prices’ position as of yet, but junior ministerial roles are expected to be announced by the government imminently.

A UKTI spokesperson tells GTR that he “currently remains in post” but that it is a “period of change”.

The structural changes have been implemented but it’s very early days and for now it is business as usual, adds the spokesperson.

Fox’s new role accompanies that of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary and David Davis as secretary of state for leaving the European Union. The trio, who were all staunch supporters of the Leave EU side, will be at the forefront of leading the UK’s new venture out of the EU and deeper into the wider world.

The cabinet reshuffle has received mixed reactions both nationally and internationally from around the world.

There was widespread criticism that Fox, the former defence secretary who was forced to resign in disgrace in 2011, was back on the front bench. Questions were raised on how the MP would be able to hold his own on any trade discussions with other countries on corruption or conflicts of interest.

Fox worked as a GP and a civilian army medical officer before becoming an MP in 1997. He was party chairman between 2003 to 2005, before becoming shadow defence secretary in 2010.  He has run for leadership of the Tory party twice, including in the most recent contest won by prime minister May.

Fox’s appointment however, was largely overshadowed by that of Johnson and his new role. While some describe the move as “bold” many reacted with bemusement and others with horror.

The former London mayor is infamous for his unpredictable personality and edgy humour, which could mean the UK’s future international relations, and subsequent trade relations, have entered further uncertainty going forward.