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Minister of State for Europe

The Minister of State for Europe (colloquially also known as the Minister for Europe or Europe Minister) is an informal title for a ministerial position within the Government of the United Kingdom, in charge of affairs with Europe, the European Union and NATO.[1]

Minister of State for Europe and the Americas
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP.jpg
Christopher Pincher

since 25 July 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Reports toSecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
NominatorSecretary of State
AppointerThe Prime Minister
approved and sworn in by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNo fixed term
First holderDouglas Hurd

The office is generally, formally one of a number of Ministers of State within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Despite being a junior ministerial role, the position has sometimes conferred the right to attend meetings of the Cabinet, which is occasionally granted to other such Ministers at the Prime Minister's discretion. This first occurred when Denis MacShane was replaced by Douglas Alexander after the 2005 general election, although Alexander's successor ceased to have this right. The Minister of State is also responsible for the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.

When Chris Bryant MP held the office it was not as a Minister of State but a more junior Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.[2]

The responsibilities of the office were next appointed to a Minister of State in 2010 by then Prime Minister David Cameron. He appointed David Lidington, who held the office for over six years.

As of July 2016, the responsibilities of the Minister for Europe were combined with the portfolio of the traditionally more junior Minister of State for Europe and the Americas.

The post of Minister of State for Europe and the Americas was most recently held by Sir Alan Duncan, who resigned on 22 July 2019.[3] The postholder is largely regarded as the second most senior-ranking Foreign Office Minister behind the Foreign Secretary.[4][5] The Minister is responsible for government policy towards The Americas (including Cuba); Europe; NATO and European security; defence and international security; the Falkland Islands; polar regions; migration; protocol; human resources; OSCE and Council of Europe; relations with Parliament; FCO finance; knowledge and technology.

On the 25 July 2019 newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Conservative MP for Tamworth, Christopher Pincher to the role as a part of his cabinet reshuffle. During this time the Prime Minister had made various other appointments in his reshuffle.

The post is not to be confused with the Minister of State within the Department for Exiting the European Union, the department created by Prime Minister Theresa May following the UK's vote to leave the EU in 2016. They support the work of the department overseeing the UK's exit from the EU rather than overseeing government policy towards all-European affairs.[6][7]

List of Ministers for EuropeEdit

Name Portrait Term of office Political party P.M. F.Sec.
Douglas Hurd   4 May 1979 9 June 1983 Conservative Thatcher Carrington
Malcolm Rifkind   9 June 1983 11 January 1986 Conservative Howe
Lynda Chalker   11 January 1986 24 July 1989 Conservative
Francis Maude   25 July 1989 28 November 1990 Conservative Major
Tristan Garel-Jones   28 November 1990 27 May 1993 Conservative Major
David Heathcoat-Amory   27 May 1993 20 July 1994 Conservative
David Davis   20 July 1994 May 1997 Conservative
Doug Henderson   5 May 1997 28 July 1998 Labour Blair Cook
Joyce Quin   28 July 1998 28 July 1999 Labour
Geoff Hoon   28 July 1999 11 October 1999 Labour
Keith Vaz   11 October 1999 11 June 2001 Labour
Peter Hain   11 June 2001 24 October 2002 Labour Straw
Denis MacShane   28 October 2002 11 May 2005 Labour
Douglas Alexander   11 May 2005 8 May 2006 Labour
Geoff Hoon   8 May 2006 27 June 2007 Labour Beckett
Jim Murphy   28 June 2007 3 October 2008 Labour Brown Miliband
Caroline Flint   3 October 2008 5 June 2009 Labour
The Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead   5 June 2009 13 October 2009 Labour
Chris Bryant
Undersecretary of State for Europe and Asia
  13 October 2009 12 May 2010 Labour
David Lidington   12 May 2010 14 July 2016 Conservative Cameron Hague
Alan Duncan
Minister of State for Europe and the Americas
  15 July 2016 22 July 2019 Conservative May Johnson
Christopher Pincher
Minister of State for Europe and the Americas
  25 July 2019 Incumbent Conservative Johnson Rabb


  1. ^ "Minister of State for Europe - GOV.UK".
  2. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  3. ^ "Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan resigns ahead of Boris Johnson's expected premiership". Sky News. London. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  4. ^ Swinford, Steven (21 June 2017). "Boris Johnson's deputy Alan Duncan tells him to resist temptation to 'play games'" – via
  5. ^ editor, Patrick Wintour Diplomatic (3 October 2017). "Brexit vote was 'tantrum' by British working class, says Alan Duncan" – via
  6. ^ "Minister of State - GOV.UK".
  7. ^ "Minister of State - GOV.UK".

See alsoEdit