Ministers are fleeing David Davis’s Brexit department as power shifts to No 10by Beth Oppenheim / October 31, 2017 / Leave a comment
The Department for Exiting the European Union has slowly haemorrhaged civil servants ever since its inception last year. A freedom of information request by Bloomberg revealed that 142 employees have already left the department. DExEU faced a destabilising spate of resignations shortly before Brexit negotiations began in June, which saw the departures of: Lord Bridges, previously Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, David Davis’s Chief of Staff James Chapman, the Director of Trade and Partnerships Antony Phillipson, and Minister of State and hard Brexiter, David Jones.
Last week, Baroness Anelay resigned, citing the worsening of an injury sustained in 2015. Perhaps this latest resignation could not be helped, but the overall trend cannot be ignored. So what explains the exodus?
Bridges and Chapman left the department because they became convinced that Brexit could not work; and the difficulty in retaining civil servants is not altogether surprising, since most policy specialists recognise that Brexit will make Britain poorer and less influential.