Brexit department: More than 20% of civil servants working for David Davis have left in the last 14 months

Josie Cox
The department itself said that a large majority of the changes were the 'result of normal civil service rotation or the end of defined loan periods': Reuters

Britain’s Department for Exiting the European Union has only existed for 14 months but already more than 20 per cent of its staff have left.

According to the Government’s response to a freedom of information request submitted by Bloomberg, as of 18 August, 124 employees had left the department since it was set up, leaving 482.

The churn on Cabinet office jobs reportedly soared from 20 per cent in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2016, but the average staff turnover across the civil service more broadly was just 9.1 per cent last year.

The high turnover within the Brexit department could suggest that civil servants don’t enjoy working in the office which is tasked with one of the Government's most challenging jobs in decades.

The department itself, however, pointed out that fewer than five of the people who had left had quit the civil service altogether, suggesting that some officials may just be passing through the department to gain valuable experience. It said that a large majority of the changes were the “result of normal civil service rotation or the end of defined loan periods”.

Oliver Robbins announced that he would be leaving the department last Monday after a spate of reported rows with Brexit Secretary David Davis. Government insiders claimed that Mr Davis had been left frozen out of decision making, and that there was no personal warmth between the two men. Mr Robbins joined the Cabinet office as Theresa May’s EU adviser, which is a brand new role.

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