Vince Cable said:
"Brexiteers promised a new dawn of improved trade deals across the world. But rather than jet-setting round the globe, Liam Fox might as well be left in a room with a photocopier.
"The government's Brexit strategy now defies all logic. It is not even asking Japan for a bespoke trade deal. India has already told us they won't give us one. The government should not be surprised if China says the same.
"Far from bagging lots of new trade deals, the government is simply trying to cut and paste our existing arrangements. Its Brexit strategy has just reached new levels of absurdity.
"The Institute for Government estimates that the civil service bill for negotiating Brexit is £65m a year. But if ministers are simply trying to cling on to what we have already, it raises the question, why leave the European Union?"