U.K.’s Brexit Negotiating Team Includes Diplomats, EU Experts

  • Nine-member squad starts work on Monday on long exit talks
  • One woman, eight men will guide British departure from EU
Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

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The U.K. and the European Union start their Brexit negotiations on Monday, with a team of Britons that includes a former economic counselor at the country’s embassy in Beijing and the national security adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Read more: Meet the EU’s Experienced Negotiating Team

In addition to Brexit Secretary David Davis, the negotiating squad includes eight men and one woman, according to biographies posted on the website of the Department for Exiting the European Union. Here are thumbnail sketches of the negotiators:

David Davis 
Brexit Secretary

David Davis.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A former minister of state for Europe in the 1990s and prominent euroskeptic, Davis, 68, was named “Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union” in July 2016. A onetime chairman of the Conservative Party, Davis previously represented the Conservatives in opposition on home affairs matters such as national security, prisons and immigration.

Oliver Robbins
Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union

Oliver Robbins.
Source: Department for Exiting the European Union

Robbins is May’s lead civil service representative at the negotiations. He was previously attached to the Home Office where he had responsibility for immigration and free movement policy, and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship system. He previously served as Deputy National Security Adviser to then-Prime Minister David Cameron.

Philip Rycroft 
Second Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union

From 2012 to 2015 Rycroft was the Director General in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. Prior to that, he was Corporate Affairs Director at Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Ltd. He also served as director general for education in the Scottish government.

Alex Ellis
Director General at the Department for Exiting the European Union

Ellis’ focus is on the EU institutions and member states. He previously served as the British ambassador to Brazil and Portugal. He also was a member of the cabinet of the President of the European Commission, with responsibility for energy, climate change, competition, development, trade and strategy.

Mark Bowman 
Director General, International Finance at the British Treasury

Bowman leads Treasury’s work with foreign finance ministries, central banks and international institutions. He is the U.K.’s Finance Deputy at the Group of Seven nations and the G20, and represents the U.K. in the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee. He  previously served in the Department for International Development.

Simon Case 
Director General, U.K.-EU Partnership

Case’s work includes establishing a future deep and special partnership with the EU. Case joined the Civil Service in 2006. His previous roles have included postings with Government Communications Headquarters, the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office.

Glyn Williams
Director General at the Home Office

Williams is responsible for policy in the U.K.’s Border, Immigration and Citizenship System, including the development of a post-EU exit immigration regime. He has also served in the Home Office as Director of Asylum Services and Director of Visa Services. He represents the U.K. at the European Asylum Support Office.

Catherine Webb
Director of Market Access and Budget at the Department for Exiting the European Union

Webb held various roles in Treasury for 11 years. She then took up the role of Economic and Trade Counselor at the British Embassy in Beijing, where she led work to strengthen the U.K. and China’s economic relationship. She returned to the U.K. in 2015 and was appointed Director, EU Internal Issues at the European and Global Issues Secretariat in the Cabinet Office.

Mark Philip Sedwill
National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister

Mark Philip Sedwill.
Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe

Since joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1989, Sedwill has held a number of high profile positions, including as ambassador to Afghanistan in 2009, and as NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan in 2010. He also served as FCO’s Political Director in 2012. He held the position of Permanent Secretary at the Home Office from February 2013 until April 2017, when he assumed his current post.

Tim Barrow
Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union

Tim Barrow.
Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Barrow has had a 30-year diplomatic career. He previously served as the U.K.’s ambassador to Moscow. Before that he worked at the U.K. Representation to the EU as representative to the Political and Security Committee of the EU from 2008 to 2011.

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