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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.

United Kingdom
Secretary of State for
Exiting the European Union
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Official portrait of Mr David Davis.jpg
David Davis

since 13 July 2016
Department for Exiting the European Union
Style The Right Honourable
(Formal prefix)
Member of British Cabinet
Reports to The Prime Minister
Seat Westminster, London
Appointer The British Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder David Davis
Formation 13 July 2016

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 is to be vacated once the DECC is 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 is 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]


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
Incumbent Conservative Theresa May [8]

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. ^ David Davis appointed to lead Britain's Brexit negotiations, Reuters (13 July 2016).
  3. ^ a b Matt Foster, New Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy swallows up DECC and BIS — full details and reaction, Civil Service World (14 July 2016).
  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. 
  5. ^ Adam Taylor, David Davis: The man in charge of getting Britain out of the E.U., Washington Post (14 July 2016).
  6. ^ John Crace, David Davis spells out his EU strategy: be more like Canada, The Guardian (4 February 2016).
  7. ^ Theresa May's cabinet: Who's in and who's out?, BBC News (13 July 2016).
  8. ^ "Rt Hon David Davis MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 

External linksEdit