DExEU second perm sec named

Written by Richard Johnstone on 11 April 2017 in News

New appointment to lead on Brexit department’s policy and legislative agenda

Philip Rycroft has been named the second permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union, with responsibility to manage the overall policy and legislative agenda at the Brexit ministry.

Rycroft joins the department from his position as second permanent secretary and head of UK governance group in the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues. He will retain the elements of this work related to the devolved administrations at DExEU.

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In a statement announcing the new role, Rycroft said: “By working across Cabinet Office and DExEU, this role will aid in the coordination of the constitutional and devolution issues involved in the process of exiting the EU. I am really pleased to be able to continue to work with the UK Governance Group in Cabinet Office.”

Rycroft’s other positions in government include being director general in Nick Clegg’s Deputy Prime Minister Office from 2012 to 2015, and chief executive of the Better Regulation Executive in the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and director general of education in the Scottish Government.

He has also worked outside government as corporate affairs director at conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) and spent time on secondment from government with brewery Scottish & Newcastle. He also served in the cabinet of European Commission vice-president Leon Brittan in the late 1990s.

Only two other departments, the Treasury and the Home Office, currently have second permanent secretaries.

Rycroft joins the department at the time of what DExEu permanent secretary Olly Robbins called “a big external recruitment exercise” to staff the department after prime minister Theresa May triggered the Article 50 process to leave the European Union. Robbins told MPs that, as of 15 March, the number of full time equivalent posts in the department stood at 322.

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Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy editor and tweets as @RichRJohnstone

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