Lord Price, the UK’s minister for the department for international trade (DIT), has resigned.

Price says he is leaving to pursue his “wider business and writing interests”, but will continue to advocate the UK’s global trade ambitions.

“It has been an honour to serve as minister for trade and investment and then trade policy following the EU referendum,” says Price. “I previously said I would be working within government for a time-limited period, and will now be leaving to pursue my wider business and writing interests, while continuing to advocate the UK’s global trade ambitions.”

A new Lords minister will be appointed to the DIT and will have a particular focus on UK export promotion.

The current minister of state for trade and investment, Greg Hands, will take overall responsibility for the trade policy portfolio, taking the trade bill through the house of commons and delivering a trade policy for the UK through the Trade Policy Group.

Hands joined the DIT when it was established in June 2016 and has held several ministerial roles including chief secretary to the treasury.

DIT minister Mark Garnier will become the minister for investment and have responsibility for foreign direct investments into the UK and UK investments overseas.

Commenting on Price’s departure, international trade secretary Liam Fox says: “Lord Price’s hard work and dedication has played a vital part in developing new and existing trade relationships. I know that everyone at the DIT would want to extend their thanks to him and wish him the best for his future endeavours.”

Commenting on his new responsibility, Hands says: “I’m looking forward to delivering a trade policy framework for the UK, so that we can take advantage of new trading opportunities with global partners once we leave the EU.”

Over the last 12 months following the Brexit vote, the DIT has been on an expansion mission. The Trade Policy Group, which includes policy and country specialists as well as expert economic analysts and lawyers, has grown five-fold. Last month Crawford Falconer was appointed as chief trade negotiation advisor to act as the head of profession for trade negotiators.