Department for Exiting the European Union

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU; also known as the Brexit Department)[1] is 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.[1] It was formed by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in July 2016, in the wake of the referendum vote to leave the European Union.[2]

Department for Exiting the European Union
Department overview
Formed14 July 2016
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
Headquarters9 Downing Street, London, England[1]
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 may take on staff from other government departments as necessary.[3] The department was overseen by David Davis MP, until he resigned on 8 July 2018.[4][5] Dominic Raab was appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 9 July 2018,[6] but resigned on 15 November 2018 over the draft withdrawal agreement.[7] His replacement was announced on 16 November 2018 to be Stephen Barclay.[8]

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(withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union)
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The Ministers in the Department for Exiting the European Union are as follows:[9]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Stephen Barclay MP Secretary of State 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 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 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 Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union was Oliver Robbins. In September 2017, Robbins left the Department as the prime minister appointed him the EU adviser in the Cabinet Office.[10] In October 2017, Philip Rycroft was appointed the new Permanent Secretary,[11] 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.


In March 2018 government data stated the Department had 636 full-time equivalent posts,[12] rising to 651 in August 2018 (excluding contractors, management consultants and fast streamers[13]) on an average (mean) monthly wage of £5,890 including allowances.


  1. "Department for Exiting the European Union". GOV.UK. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. "Theresa May signals Whitehall rejig with two new Cabinet posts". Civil Service World. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  3. "Machinery of Government Changes:Written statement - HCWS94". Hansard. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. Rayner, Gordon (8 July 2018). "David Davis resigns as Brexit secretary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  5. "Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns". BBC News. 9 July 2018.
  6. 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)
  7. "Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns over EU agreement". BBC News. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  8. "Stephen Barclay named new Brexit Secretary". BBC News. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  9. "Department for Exiting the European Union". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  10. 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.
  11. "Philip Rycroft". GOV.UK. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  12. "DExEU monthly workforce management information: March 2018".
  13. "DExEU monthly workforce management information: August 2018 - GOV.UK". Retrieved 11 October 2018.