Britain's Stephen Barclay Becomes 3rd Brexit Secretary

Published November 18th, 2018 - 10:40 GMT
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Lancaster House in London. (AFP/File)
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Lancaster House in London. (AFP/File)

Theresa May named her the third Brexit secretary in the past four months as she faces criticism of her proposal on leaving the European Union.

Stephen Barclay, a 46-year-old minister for Northeast Cambridgeshire, a large agricultural region, was named Friday to replace Dominic Raab, who quit Thursday over what he said were "fatal flaws" in the plan May has negotiated with the European Union.

Barclay, whose position was below cabinet level in the health and social care department, backed Brexit but he did not have a high-profile role during the summer 2016 referendum. He's also a former banking executive.

David Davis, the first secretary appointed in 2016, resigned as secretary in July over May's plans.

Michael Gove, the environmental secretary, turned down the job after being told he could not renegotiate May's draft agreement. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox also reportedly turned down the position.

While Barclay focuses on domestic preparations for the departure, May will personally assume responsibility for the remaining negotiations with the EU.

"Delighted to accept role at DExEU," Barclay posted on Twitter. We now need to keep up the momentum to finalise the Withdrawal Agreement & outline political declaration & deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK. Looking forward to working with a talented team of ministers & officials to do just that.

Labor's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said in a report by the BBC: "after two years of negotiation, the prime minister has failed to deliver a Brexit deal that can command the support of Parliament. A new face in the Brexit department will do nothing to bring this divided government back together."

Also Friday, May brought back Amber Rudd as work and pensions secretary, replacing Esther McVey, who also quit Thursday. Rudd, a leading figure to remain in the European Union, resigned as home secretary over an immigration scandal in April.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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