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Cabinet reshuffle

Trevelyan handed trade role as Truss replaces Raab

Anne-Marie Trevelyan replaces Liz Truss at the DIT

Eurosceptic Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been handed the job of negotiating Britain’s post-Brexit trade deals after Liz Truss succeeded Dominic Raab at the Foreign Office.

Ms Trevelyan, former international development minister and MP for Berwickshire, returns to the Cabinet as International Trade Secretary.

She was the last head of the Department for International Development (DFID) before it was merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

After leaving the Cabinet following the merger, she was appointed Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

She voted for Brexit in 2016 and was a member of the hardline European Research Group. She resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in 2018 over former PM Theresa May’s draft EU withdrawal agreement.

Ms Trevelyan will build on Ms Truss’s progress in securing the UK’s first free trade agreements as an independent trading nation following Brexit.

These include:

  • Signing free trade agreements with Japan and Australia
  • Securing rollover trade deals with 66 of the 70 countries that the UK previously had agreements with as a former member of the EU
  • Beginning negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
  • Passing the Trade Act 2021 into law
  • Establishing the UK’s post-Brexit tariff book – the UK Global Tariff

Truss’ last actions

The DIT is currently in the late stages of negotiations for a trade deal with New Zealand and has been permitted to begin talks to join the CPTPP bloc of 11 Pacific nations.

In her last week as trade secretary, Ms Truss held talks with Indian commerce minister Piyush Goyal about the UK’s planned negotiations with India for another trade deal.

Ms Truss takes on her fifth Cabinet job and as Foreign Secretary she now holds one of the four big offices of state alongside the PM, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chancellor Rishi Sunak who retain their jobs.

Raab pays the penalty

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reshuffle saw Mr Raab pay the price for his mishandling of the Afghan crisis with demotion to Justice Secretary, though he will also be deputy Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor. Mr Johnson has recognised a loyal servant who deputised for him during his stay in hospital last year recovering from Covid.

Three ministers were sacked as Mr Johnson seeks a “strong and united” Cabinet following the turbulence of the past year and looks ahead to a general election, possibly in 2023.

Apart from Robert Buckland‘s departure from Justice, Gavin Williamson was sacked as Education Secretary while Robert Jenrick has been removed from his post at housing.

Amanda Milling has lost her position as co-chairman of the Conservative Party. 

Michael Gove has been moved from the Cabinet Office to become Communities Secretary, which has responsibility for housing and the union.

Health minister Nadine Dorries takes over at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to replace Oliver Dowden who has been demoted to minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office.

Nadhim Zahawi moves from the vaccine brief to replace Mr Williamson at Education. 

Steve Barclay succeeded Mr Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office.

Greg Hands left the Department of International Trade for a new brief as minister of state for energy.

Kwasi Kwarteng retains his job as Business Secretary.



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