Open main menu

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union or, informally, Brexit Secretary,[1] is the Secretary of State responsible for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, informally referred to as "Brexit". The secretary will oversee withdrawal negotiations following a nationwide referendum on 23 June 2016, in which a majority voted in favour of exiting the EU.[2][3] The office-holder is a member of the Cabinet.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Stephen Barclay.jpg
Stephen Barclay

since 16 November 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
StyleBrexit Secretary
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and the Commonwealth)
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPrime Minister of the United Kingdom
SeatWestminster, London
AppointerThe Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation13 July 2016
First holderDavid Davis

The position was created at the outset of the premiership of Theresa May, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 13 July 2016.[4] May reportedly ordered civil servants to find a building to house a new Department for Exiting the European Union, to be headed by the Secretary of State.[5] The headquarters of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at Whitehall Place, which was to be vacated once the DECC was merged into the newly created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was viewed as a potential site for the department.[3] The department now occupies 9 Downing Street.

The inaugural holder was David Davis MP,[4] a longtime Eurosceptic who campaigned for the UK to leave the EU.[6] Davis is a former chairman of the Conservative Party who served in the government of John Major as Minister of State for Europe (1994–97) and in the Shadow Cabinet of David Cameron as Shadow Home Secretary.[7]

Davis resigned on 8 July 2018 shortly before midnight; Dominic Raab was appointed on 9 July as his replacement and resigned on 15 November 2018.[8] Stephen Barclay, who had been serving as Minister of State for Health, was selected as Raab's successor on the 16 November 2018.[9]


List of Secretaries of State for Exiting the European UnionEdit

Colour key (for political parties):

Portrait Name Term of Office Party Prime Minister Ref.
  David Davis
MP for Haltemprice and Howden
13 July 2016 8 July 2018 Conservative Theresa May [10]
  Dominic Raab
MP for Esher and Walton
9 July 2018 15 November 2018 [11]
  Stephen Barclay
MP for North East Cambridgeshire
16 November 2018 Incumbent [9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cecil, Nicholas (14 July 2016). "Brexit Secretary David Davis says UK 'will quit the EU in December 2018'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  2. ^ James, William; Holden, Michael (13 July 2016). "'Charming Bastard' David Davis to lead Brexit talks". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link).
  3. ^ a b Foster, Matt (14 July 2016). "New Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy swallows up DECC and BIS — full details and reaction". Civil Service World. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "New ministerial appointment July 2016: Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union" (Press release). Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  5. ^ Taylor, Adam (14 July 2016). "David Davis: The man in charge of getting Britain out of the E.U." Washington Post. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  6. ^ Crace, John (4 February 2016). "David Davis spells out his EU strategy: be more like Canada". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Theresa May's cabinet: Who's in and who's out?". BBC News. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns over EU agreement". BBC News. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Steve Barclay named new Brexit Secretary". BBC News. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Rt Hon David Davis MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 July 2018.

External linksEdit