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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 14 July, 2020

So, who exactly is the new Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay?

He today became the third person to hold the job overseeing Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Britain Brexit Secretary Britain's new Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth via PA Images

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Theresa May earlier today promoted a largely unknown junior health minister, eurosceptic Stephen Barclay, to be her new Brexit Secretary. 

He becomes the third person to hold the job overseeing Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, after his two predecessors, Dominic Raab and David Davis, both quit in protest at May’s approach.

Commenting on his appointment today, Barclay tweeted: “Delighted to accept role at DExEU. We now need to keep up the momentum to finalise the Withdrawal Agreement and outline political declaration and deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK. 

“Looking forward to working with a talented team of ministers and officials to do just that.” 

And so, who exactly is Stephen Barclay? 

A trained lawyer, Barclay has been an MP since 2010, when he was elected Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire. 

He was previously Minister of State for the Department of Health from January to November this year. Prior to that role, Barclay acted as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from June 2017 to January 2018. 

He served as a government whip from July 2016 to June 2017.

In the past, Barclay has also served on the UK Public Accounts Committee and served as an assistant government whip. 

Now, let’s take a quick look back at Barclay’s life prior to his political career. 

Barclay was educated at King Edward WII School in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, before reading history at Peterhouse, Cambridge. 

He later went on to study law at the College of Law in Chester. 

Following his studies, he worked as an insurance company lawyer for Axa Insurance and as a regulator for Britain’s Financial Services Authority.

He also worked at Barclays Bank as director of regulatory affairs and head of anti-money laundering.

Barclay is married with two children.

His appointment follows Raab’s resignation on Thursday over the Brexit deal struck with the EU.

Raab himself was only appointed in July after Davis quit, also complaining about May’s strategy.

Barclay now has the task of steering legislation implementing the Brexit through a hostile parliament.

His department also leads planning for the risk that the process collapses and Britain leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without any deal in place.

With reporting by AFP. 

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