Department for Exiting the European Union

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU; also known as the Department for Brexit or Brexit Department)[2] was the government department of the United Kingdom responsible for overseeing negotiations relating to Brexit, and establishing the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.[2] It was formed by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in July 2016, in the wake of the referendum vote to leave the European Union.[4] The department was dissolved on 31 January 2020 when Brexit took effect.[1]

Department for Exiting the European Union
Department overview
Formed14 July 2016
Dissolved31 January 2020 23:00 GMT[1]
Superseding agency
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
Headquarters9 Downing Street, London, England[2]
Minister responsible
Department executive
WebsiteOfficial website

The department was formed by combining staff from the Cabinet Office’s Europe Unit, the Europe Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the United Kingdom's Permanent Representation to the EU, and was able to take on staff from other government departments as necessary.[5] The department was overseen by David Davis MP until he resigned on 8 July 2018.[6][7] Dominic Raab was appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 9 July 2018,[8] but resigned on 15 November 2018 over the draft withdrawal agreement.[9] His replacement was announced on 16 November 2018 to be Stephen Barclay.[10]


The responsibilities of the department included:

  1. Achieve the best possible outcome for the UK's departure from the EU; and build a new ambitious, deep and special future partnership between the UK and the EU[11]
  2. Coordinate delivery and legislation across government, to ensure the UK is prepared for all scenarios, including a smooth transition to our future relationship with the European Union[11]
  3. Engage with Parliament, Member States and interested parties at home and abroad to shape a successful exit from the EU and to help build an ambitious future relationship[11]


The Ministers in the Department for Exiting the European Union were as follows:[12]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Stephen Barclay MP Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Overall responsibility for the work of the department; including work to support the UK's negotiations to leave the EU and to conduct the negotiations in support of the Prime Minister
The Rt Hon. The Lord Callanan Minister of State for Exiting the European Union Departmental business in the House of Lords, EU ongoing business, general affairs council, JMC(E), civil society, and EU institutions
James Duddridge MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Legislation and constitution; citizens and networks (including justice, data and Near Neighbours); market access, trade and Future Economic Partnership; security; Northern Ireland and Ireland; business engagement (including SME champion); Devolved Administrations; English Regions; Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

The first Permanent Secretary at the department was Oliver Robbins. In September 2017, Robbins left the department as the prime minister appointed him the EU adviser in the Cabinet Office.[13] In October 2017, Philip Rycroft was appointed the new Permanent Secretary,[14] having previously been the department's Second Permanent Secretary. After his departure in March 2019, he was replaced by Clare Moriarty, previously Permanent Secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Senior management

The department's senior management team included:[11]

  • Permanent Secretary: Clare Moriarty
  • UK Permanent Representative to the EU: Sir Tim Barrow KCMG LVO MBE
    • Director General – Emma Ward
    • Director General – Simon Ridley
    • Acting Director General – Anna Clunes
    • Director for Legislation & Constitution – Emma Payne
    • Director for Analysis – Ben Cropper
    • Co-Director for Market Access and Budget – Chris Hobley
    • Co-Director for Market Access and Budget & DExEU Chief Scientific Adviser – Eoin Parker
    • Director for Negotiations Strategy – Rhys Bowen
    • Co-Director for Citizens and Networks – Rebecca Evernden
    • Co-Director for Citizens and Networks – Nicola Webb
    • Director for Security, Territories and Ongoing Business – VACANT
    • Co-Director for Communications & Stakeholders – Olivier Evans
    • Co-Director for Communications & Stakeholders – Simon Baugh
    • Director for Business Engagement & Readiness – Nathan Phillips
    • Co-Director for Domestic Policy & Implementation (Policy) – David Lamberti
    • Co-Director for Domestic Policy & Implementation (Implementation) – Colin Dingwall
    • Co-Director for Corporate Centre – Helen Mills
    • Co-Director for Corporate Centre – Kate Caulkin
    • DExEU Legal Advisers – Cathy Adams and Daniel Denman


In March 2018 government data stated the department had 636 full-time equivalent posts,[15] rising to 651 in August 2018 (excluding contractors, management consultants and fast streamers[16]) on an average (mean) monthly wage of £5,890 including allowances.


  1. "Queen's Speech LIVE: Focus on Brexit and NHS as Boris Johnson looks to deliver election promises". Sky News. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  2. "Department for Exiting the European Union". GOV.UK. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  3. "Civil Service Careers". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. "Theresa May signals Whitehall rejig with two new Cabinet posts". Civil Service World. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  5. "Machinery of Government Changes:Written statement – HCWS94". Hansard. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. Rayner, Gordon (8 July 2018). "David Davis resigns as Brexit secretary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  7. "Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns". BBC News. 9 July 2018.
  8. Dan Sabbagh and Jessica Elgot (9 July 2018). "Dominic Raab named Brexit secretary in cabinet reshuffle". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. "Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns over EU agreement". BBC News. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  10. "Stephen Barclay named new Brexit Secretary". BBC News. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  11. "About us". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 November 2020. Text was copied from this source, which is available under an Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.
  12. "Department for Exiting the European Union". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  13. Johnstone, Richard (18 September 2017). "Oliver Robbins leaves DExEU to lead cross-government Brexit coordination in Number 10". Civil Service World. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  14. "Philip Rycroft". GOV.UK. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  15. "DExEU monthly workforce management information: March 2018".
  16. "DExEU monthly workforce management information: August 2018 – GOV.UK". Retrieved 11 October 2018.