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'Signing Off': Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay May Earn Hefty Bonus as Brexit Department Shuts Down

© REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAYBritain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay is seen outside Downing Street in London
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay is seen outside Downing Street in London - Sputnik International
The news comes just before the British Prime Minister is expected to visit the Department to congratulate staff on their work in the country's withdrawal from the European Union following the 2016 referendum.

Outgoing Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, is set to receive a massive payout along with his ministerial salary following news that the Department for Exiting the EU will shutter its doors at 23:01 on Friday.

Other ministers in charge of Brexit may also receive similar payouts, but can choose to 'decline' the offer, Politics Home reported on Thursday.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced: "In the usual way, all ministers are entitled to payments when they step down from their job. It's obviously up to individuals what they choose to do.

Mr Barclay, who took office after former secretary David Davis resigned in 2018, may be prompted to give up the payment under new and strict Cabinet Office regulations, should he take a new government post in three weeks.

Ahead of the visit, a No 10 spokesperson sent a letter to staff to "thank each of you for your hard work over the last three and a half years".

The spokesperson added: "We are leaving the EU and will become and independent country again, ready to determine our own future. Some of you will have joined at the beginning of the journey and others more recently, but without your contributions we would not be where we are today.

Anyone in the Brexit department that wanted to remain in the civil service would be assisted in finding new jobs, the spokesperson confirmed.

The department was set to close on the UK's Brexit deadline after, with Downing Street confirming the announcement shortly after the Tories' election landslide victory in December last year.

The UK's Brexit department was established in 2016 by former PM Theresa May, and has seen three secretaries, including Mr Davis and newly-appointed foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, whom both stepped down from their post in protest of her embattled Withdrawal Agreement.

The British Prime Minister is set to deliver a keynote speech on 31 January in a bid to "mobilise the full breadth" of the UK's abilities after Brexit, the same day as the country's departure from the European Union. The news comes after weeks of political wrangling in Commons over the government's Withdrawal Agreement bill, which finally gained Royal Ascent and was signed by EU Commission president, Ursula Von Der Leyen, and EU Council president Charles Michel signed the bill on Monday, days before it was voted on by European Parliament.

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