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Great Britain

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will not take part in talks with Brussels as Theresa May is set to control the last ten days of negotiations

THERESA MAY stripped the role of Brexit Secretary back last night as she took full control of the last ten days of EU negotiations.

It came as she promoted relatively unknown health minister Stephen Barclay to the Cabinet role.

 Stephen Barclay is thought to have been made Brexit Secretary after Michael Gove turned down the role

AP:Associated Press

Stephen Barclay is thought to have been made Brexit Secretary after Michael Gove turned down the role

But the job heading up the exit department will now focus entirely on getting Britain Brexit ready without playing any role in talks with Brussels.

Leave-supporting Mr Barclay's job will be limited to the domestic delivery of EU withdrawal, preparations either with or without a deal and shepherding legislation through Parliament.

Mr Barclay's appointment came after Mr Gove reportedly turned down the post, saying he would only take it if he could renegotiate the EU withdrawal agreement.

Downing Street declined to say whether the Brexit Secretary post had been offered to anyone else before the North-East Cambridgeshire MP, saying only: "He was the Prime Minister's choice for the job."

 The Prime Minister will now take full control of negotiations with Brussels

PA:Press Association

The Prime Minister will now take full control of negotiations with Brussels

The former whip under David Cameron had infuriated the former PM by demanding he be able to campaign for Leave during the historic 2016 referendum.

Last night Mr Barclay said he was “delighted to accept role at DExEU. We now need to keep up the momentum to finalise the Withdrawal Agreement and outline political declaration & deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK.”

Meanwhile Kwasi Kwarteng takes up a junior role in Mr Barclay's department, leaving his role as a Treasury aide.

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "Stephen Barclay's appointment changes absolutely nothing.

"After two years of negotiation, the prime minister has failed to deliver a Brexit deal that can command the support of Parliament.

"A new face in the Brexit department will do nothing to bring this divided government back together."

Last night, Treasury Minister Mel Stride said Mr Barclay was a “Highly intelligent, incredibly analytical and detailed figure. Of course he is a Brexiteer so his heart is in the mission he is taking on.”

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