Third time lucky? Meet Stephen Barclay, the new Brexit secretary

By Sanya Burgess, news reporter

Leave-supporting Stephen Barclay has been promoted to Brexit Secretary from his ministerial role in the department of health.

The relatively unknown politician, who is the MP for North East Cambridgeshire, replaces Dominic Raab.

Mr Raab dramatically resigned from the cabinet on Thursday over the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Esther McVey also quit the cabinet alongside five other ministerial resignations over the proposed deal on Thursday.

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Stephen Barclay MP @SteveBarclay to be Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union @DExEUgov

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 16, 2018

Mr Barclay will be taking on a stripped-down version of the role, limited to the domestic delivery of the withdrawal, preparations for different Brexit scenarios and passing legislation.

Prime Minister Theresa May will be taking sole control of the negotiations with Europe.

Reaction to his appointment has been mixed, with chief secretary to the treasury Liz Truss calling him a "star".

Delighted my friend and neighbour @SteveBarclay has been appointed Brexit Secretary. Was star at Treasury. #fiscalhawk

— Liz Truss (@trussliz) November 16, 2018

Nigel Farage, now vice chairman of Leave Means Leave, wrote: "The new Brexit Secretary is completely unknown to the British public, the Civil Service is really in charge of these negotiations."

In a brief blog post on Mr Barclay’s website from March this year, he wrote: "Jeremy Corbyn recently confirmed that Labour are taking a position that will mean the UK cannot have an independent trade policy after Brexit.

This means that under Labour we would be unable to sign our own trade deals around the globe."

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