Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union


The Secretary of State is responsible for the work of the Department for Exiting the European Union, including:

  • the policy work to support the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union and to establish the future relationship between the EU and the UK
  • working very closely with the UK’s devolved administrations, Parliament, and a wide range of other interested parties on what the approach to those negotiations should be
  • conducting the negotiations in support of the Prime Minister including supporting bilateral discussions on EU exit with other European countries
  • leading and co-ordinating cross-government work to seize the opportunities and ensure a smooth process of exit on the best possible terms

Current role holder: The Rt Hon David Davis MP

The Rt Hon David Davis MP was appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 13 July 2016.

Since being elected in 1997, David has been the Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden. Before then David was MP for the Boothferry constituency since 1987.


David was educated at Bec Grammar School in South London. He studied molecular science and computing at Warwick University, and then gained a masters in business at the London Business School 1971-73.  At Harvard he took the advanced business programme from 1984-85.

Political career

In the last Conservative government, David held the positions of Science Minister 1993-4 and then Foreign Office Minister 1994-97, where he was responsible for government negotiations on Europe, NATO enlargement, the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the updated Geneva Convention.

After the 1997 election, David was elected as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. From 2001-2002 David was Chairman of the Conservative Party and from 2002-2003 he was Shadow Secretary of State for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. David then served as Shadow Home Secretary from 2003 – 2008. 

In 2010 David chaired The Future of Banking Commission which investigated the causes of the banking crisis.

 Career outside politics

Before becoming an MP, David worked at Tate & Lyle for 15 years, rising to become a senior executive.

 Personal life

David is married with three children. In his limited leisure time he continues writing, and walking in the countryside and mountaineering.


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  1. Pledge to protect Belfast Agreement and Common Travel Area in new position paper

    • News story
  2. New customs proposals laid out by Government in new paper on future relationship with the EU

    • News story
  3. David Davis' closing remarks at the end of the second round of EU exit negotiations in Brussels

    • News story
  4. Position papers published ahead of July negotiation

    • News story
  5. David Davis' speech from The Times CEO Summit

    • News story
  6. David Davis' opening statement from the Queen’s Speech Debate ‘Brexit and Foreign Affairs’

    • News story
  7. Secretary of State David Davis' statement following the opening of EU exit negotiations

    • News story
  8. David Davis heads to Brussels tomorrow with a clear message: we are leaving the European Union

    • News story
  9. David Davis' Commons statement on the Great Repeal Bill White Paper

    • Speech
  10. Certainty and stability for UK businesses as negotiations begin on new relationship with Europe

    • News story