Who is Stephen Barclay, the new Brexit secretary?

By Lucy Ingham

Stephan Barclay, the MP for North East Cambridgeshire, has been appointed Brexit secretary in replacement of Dominic Raab, who resigned on Thursday. But who is Stephan Barclay?

Previously serving as the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, as a former junior minister Barclay is one of the less well-known members of the Cabinet. This reflects the growing challenge May has faced in finding a loyal candidate for the role.

Barclay fits the requirement of voting Leave in the Brexit referendum, but what else do we know about the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union?

Who is Stephen Barclay?

Barclay became an MP in 2010 when he took over from retired Conservative MP Malcom Moss as the Member of Parliament for North East Cambridgeshire with a 39.9% majority.

He worked on the Public Accounts Committee from 2010 until 2014, before becoming an Assistant Whip in 2015 and then a full Whip in 2016. In 2017 he became Economic Secretary to the Treasury & City Minister before taking on his most recent role at the start of this year.

However, politics is Barclay’s third career. After attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he served as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. However, this lasted only five months.

He then studied history at Cambridge before qualifying as a solicitor following a period at the College of Law Chester. He then trained at an articled clerk before working at a number of major firms. These included the Guardian Royal Exchange, Axa Insurance and the Financial Services Authority.

The last role he held before entering politics was as Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions for Barclays’ retail banking division.

Barclay on Brexit

In his former position as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Barclay said that he did not think the UK would pursue widespread financial deregulation after Brexit.

“There are international standards we will look at which will provide the framework for an ambitious deal between the EU and UK,” he said in 2017.

“We are not looking to gold plate [current standards], we are looking to regulate in a smart and effective manner.”

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