The Department of Exiting the European Union (EU) was created following the referendum result in June 2016 for the UK to leave the EU.

Theresa May created the department following her appointment as Prime Minister and, in turn, appointed David Davis as its Secretary of State. It is responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.

Department Responsibilities

The main responsibilities include policy work to support the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU and to establish the future relationship between the EU and the UK; working closely with the UK’s devolved administrations, Parliament, and a wide range of other interested parties on what the approach to negotiations should be; conduct negotiations and support the PM; to lead and co-ordinate cross-government work.

Secretary of State David Davis made a statement in the House of Common on 10th October regarding the next steps in leaving the EU.

Next steps for Brexit

The first will be by bringing forward the Great Repeal Bill that will mean the European Communities Act will cease to apply on the day the UK leaves the EU. This will end the authority of EU law.

He stated that the Government will reject any attempt to undo the referendum result, any attempt to hold up the process or any attempt to keep Britian in the EU by the back door.

He stated that his whole approach is about empowering the UK and that the Great Repeal Act will convert existing EU law into domestic law where practical. There is 40 years’ worth of laws which require to be reviewed.

Decisions by the European Court of Justice will cease to binding on the enactment of the Great Repeal Act.

The exit of the UK from the EU must work for the whole of the UK. No part of the UK shall have a right to veto however, the Government will consult the devolved administrations.

Article 50

It was noted that the Bill was a separate issue from triggering Article 50 of the EU Treaty. The Bill will prepare the UK for the exit and provide the legal framework.

Article 50 will be triggered no later than March 2017.