May’s Brexit War Cabinet has no permanent places for the NI, Scottish or Welsh Secretaries.

From POLITICO, the Prime Minister, Theresa May has put together her Brexit war cabinet which is essentially cabinet sub committee with the remit of “overseeing Britain’s negotiations with the EU and formulating wider trade policy.”  The report notes that this committee will be the ultimate decision making body over the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The committee includes mostly Leavers but also has some members who voted Remain. Yet, the committee has no permanent posts for the Northern Ireland Secretary or his Scottish and Welsh counterparts despite pledging that the British government would seek the full engagement of the regions of the United Kingdom. Each Secretary of State will attend when they are asked to do so by the Prime Minister, but will not have an automatic right of attendance.

The full list is below

Theresa May, prime minister

Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer

Amber Rudd, home secretary

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary

David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union

Liam Fox, secretary of state for international trade

Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy

Damian Green, secretary of state for work and pensions

Chris Grayling, secretary of state for transport

Andrea Leadsom, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs

Priti Patel, secretary of state for international development

Patrick McLoughlin, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster

David Mundell, secretary of state for Scotland (as required)

Alun Cairns, secretary of state for Wales (as required)

James Brokenshire, secretary of state for Northern Ireland (as required)

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • Korhomme

    Is it just me, or is St Theresa extremely right wing and hard line? And if so, why?

  • kev

    Theresa May is doing a great Job for our Country

  • notimetoshine

    This makes absolutely no sense. Brexit is going to radically alter the political and economic landscape of the country, surely NI, Scotland and Wales should have full representation in this cabinet, in so far as their SoS can do so. Brexit isn’t mainly an English issue, it is a national issue with some very local consequences. Of course the right thing to do woluld be to fully involve the devolved governments, maybe with a representative on this committee, but obviously that would be too sensible.

    The brexit vote was bad enough, but the chaos and poor planning that many predicted prior to the vote seems less project fear and more project right on the money.

  • eireanne3

    NI and Scotland voted to remain – so PM May has obviously decided they couldn’t possibly be privy to the UK’s brexit planning. I mean she’s not even going to tell Parliament until it’s a done deal!! Wales voted brexit but had to be excluded with the other two to make things match up and signal clearly to everybody that Brexit is an English Tory plaything

  • Surveyor

    Even Brokenshire’s English for pete’s sake. The Tories get no votes here so why would they be bothered about what we think? An absolute sham and a joke.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Hopefully you’re going to tell us why you think this is …..

  • the rich get richer

    Well , In the great scheme of things NI, Scotland, Wales are not very important and its no harm to remind them every now and again .

    They would be a bit of a nuisance when the important stuff has to be sorted out .

  • eamoncorbett

    Which country?

  • chrisjones2

    Whats the problem?

    The commitment is to listen to and consult. That doesn’t need a full time presence.

    Sorry David but this reads as just another faux “this is all terrible piece” from those who want to control how Government works and cannot see beyond their narrow view of how things should be done. There are many ways to achieve the objective and the smaller the committee is the faster it will get it all done

  • chrisjones2

    Yes…and unless we have racially biased set of people they cannot possibly do a good job

  • chrisjones2

    “they couldn’t possibly be privy to the UK’s brexit planning” …which is why they are members and one assumes will see all the Cabinet papers / minutes etc.

  • chrisjones2

    No …its just that most of the poets on slugger are left wing and utterly devoted to financial dependence on the State so anything the Government does looks right wing unless they’re borrowing Billions more and giving sweeties to all.

  • Surveyor


  • Surveyor

    “Listen to and consult”. You mean “do as you’re told you insignificant plebs” don’t you?

  • chrisjones2

    In what way is Brokenshire’s Englishness relevant to his job as a Minster?

    Would you dare say that if he was black or Jewish (or even female)?

  • Surveyor

    Alun Cairns secretary of state for Wales, a Welsh man and voted in by the people of Wales, David Mundell secretary of state for Scotland, a Scots man and voted in by the people of Scotland. James Brokenshire emmm?

  • NotNowJohnny

    I think the point being made here is an obvious one in that in the event of two policy options being on the table, for example a hard Brexit and a soft Brexit, one of which would be more advantages to the people of Northern Ireland but detrimental to the people in England while the other would be more advantageous to the people of England and detrimental to the people of NI. The question then is could an English Secretary of State for Northern Ireland be relied upon to represent the best interests of Northern Ireland over those of England? I’m not really sure why the race, religion or Gender of the SoS should come into it. Why do you think they should?

  • mac tire

    “One assumes”

    In the name of Almighty Jehovah, that has been your catchword all along. You assume when it comes to Westminster, to Brexit, to austerity and the taking from those in need and giving to those who plead. But never to the mighty Brexit – no presumptions then.

    All. The. Time.

    The ‘poets of Slugger’ have been telling you for quite awhile now – you ‘won’ yet you have lost.

    That is not a light at the end of the tunnel…it’s a big train headed your way, Chris.

    Slán ansin.

  • mac tire

    Check back through his posts – many Irish people are racist – lán stad, British people (whatever that means these days) are not, full stop.

    And then now claims he is aghast at racism. Madness.

  • Croiteir

    vae victis

  • Katyusha

    from those who want to control how Government works (ie, the people) and cannot see beyond their narrow view of how things should be done. There are many ways to achieve the objective and the smaller the committee is the faster it will get it all done

    Spoken like a true democrat.
    … sorry, I mean autocrat.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Brokenshire being English may or may not have an influence on his decision making, but let’s face it, England, or more accurately the South Eastern Home Counties of England will end up with the best deal for that region.

    As far as Brexiteers are concerned however, the commitment of the NI SoS is the least of their worries.

    Boris wrote a Pro EU article only days before deciding that it was in his personal best interest to back Brexit, lose narrowly, and then campaign for the soon to be vacant Conservative leadership as the strong leader who would be tough with Brussels.

    That worked out well.

    In the article he made several excellent points including;

    ” This is a market on our doorstep, ready for further exploitation by British firms “.

    ” The membership fee seems rather small for all that access “.

    ” Why are we so determined to turn our back on it? ”

    Couple this with Theresa May’s pro Remain speech and it means that both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary can hardly be described as true believers, duplicitous chancers yes, fully committed to the cause, no. .

    Fox and Davis are lightweights, the only true believer, the execrable Gove has been shown the door, so what we have representing the country in the most important negotiations in living memory can hardly be inspiring the Brexiteers with confidence.

    The rest of us are really beginning to enjoy it though, we may be doomed, but we might as well have a laugh on the way. : )

  • terence patrick hewett

    And the moral of the story is:

    That no hegemon is better than any other.

  • chrisjones2

    So what? What is your point?

  • chrisjones2

    Check my posts all you like…. they are open unlike some posters and you will find that across the board they are balanced.

    The problem is the casual racism here …..I dont care if its against the English Irish Jews or Americans …its just trips off the tongue.

  • chrisjones2

    But we couldn’t possibly have one ….we would need at least 2 and probably 3 …..on Prod One Catholic and one other

  • chrisjones2

    The question is which one is best for the people of the UK as a whole …and if it adversely impacts on a region what can / should be done in the UK to ameliorate this

    You arguments are getting more and more desperate

  • chrisjones2

    Its very simple. At Cabinet papers get tables and debated. Everyone there sees them and can contribute. They also have the chance to table their own papers and raise their own issues. Minutes are circulated recording debate and decisions and are signed off.

    If you dont understand basic machinery of government issues like that then dont you feel you are ill equipped to attack the process?

  • chrisjones2

    “should have full representation in this cabinet”

    they do on everything relevant to the regions

  • chrisjones2

    No no …. the voters as a whole told you that in the referendum …that is your problem …Ministers are just implementing the instructions of the electorate …if you dont like how they do it dont vote for them at the next election

  • Anglo-Irish

    Very true, now think about that, and how it proves conclusively that Northern Ireland is different from the other UK components.

    Northern Ireland is unsustainable as an entity long term.

    Brexit may well hasten the endgame.

  • Surveyor

    Not one person from the North of Ireland voted in a Tory to office Chris.

  • Surveyor

    Casual racism? Like the escalation of attacks post Brexit?

  • Declan Doyle

    Whats very notable is the inferiority complex Irish Unionism seems to suffer in the context of the so-called UK. Unionism it appears are happy to sacrifice the well being of the people in north eastern Ireland to the whims of london government who does not even command the support of a majority of Britons. Scotland is fighting back with gusto, as is SF and surprisingly even the SDLP under Eastwood appears to have found the guts to challenge the establishment and defend the democratically expressed wishes of the people in the North. The Unionist ‘Gimp’ mentality accepts the constraints of the collar with glee. Tragic.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Right it’d be better to list the cabinet ministers who are NOT on the list even (as required)

    Justice Secretary
    Education Secretary
    Health Secretary
    Local Government Secretary
    Culture/Media/Sport Secretary

    And what’s on the list…
    archaic Duchy of Lancaster minister thinghy.

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    It’s at moments like this I refer to Nye Bevan (actually to page 84, volume 1, of Michael Foot’s biography).

    There we have an extract from a Commons debate, 15th December 1943, which I have used serially:

    Bevan gave a light-hearted description of his pursuit of power in the realms of local government. ‘Very important man. That’s Councillor Jackson’, his father had said to him. ‘What’s the Council,’ he asked. ‘Very important place indeed and they are very important men,’ his father had replied. ‘When I got older I said to myself, “The place to get to is the Council. That’s where the power is.” So I worked very hard, and, in association with my fellows, when I was about twenty years of age, I got on the Council. I discovered when I got there that the power had been there, but it had just gone. So I made some enquiries, being an earnest student of social affairs, and I learned that the power had slipped down to the County Council. That was where it was and where it had gone to. So I worked very hard again and I got there and it had gone from there too.’

    Bevan could have continued the sequence: “power” moved sequentially to central government (which ought, but doesn’t, mean the elected Commons), then into the deep, dark shadowlands of the Cabinet, and — in recent years — to whoever is privy to the Prime Minister’s tight circle.

    For the moment, Mrs May has dominance within even that charmed gathering. She has ditched the manifesto on which her Party was elected less than eighteen months since. She has — perhaps shrewdly — ensured that her natural enemies are confined in the #Brexit huddle, where egos are guaranteed to cancel each other out. She has stacked her Cabinet with debtors and camp-followers — Brokenshire was the complaisant whipping-boy for whatever went wrong in May’s Home Office.

    Watch this space. Watch not just BoJo or Fox, but Gove (who takes the Murdoch shilling, and has a hot line). Watch Osborne — May specifically recommended him to make good his pull among the back-benches, which he is. There’s just too much frustrated ambition in the Tory parliamentary party for this to remain stable for long.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Two points.

    1. I’m not sure I was making any argument here.
    2. The question isn’t about what is best for the UK as a whole. That’s merely a cop out for Brexiteers of a unionist persuasion who cannot think of a single tangible benefit of Brexit for Northern Ireland.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    The only instruction the voters (52% of them anyway), gave was to leave the EU. They did not say in what degree.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    As balanced as two mad frogs on one side of the balance, and a dessicated midge on the other. You are pro-unionist to the nth degree. Balance would show awareness of the both the pro’s and con’s of both unionism and it’s alternatives. Unless you are using the word ‘balance’ in some special sense known only to you.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    And you know that how? And for your bigoted and smug information, Scotland is a country, not a ‘region’.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    I think you will find that the biggest financial dependents on the state are rich landowners who are subsidised up to their necks, large firms which are given almost unimaginable tax breaks , and the pampered bankers of the City of London who if they were based in Iceland would now be in jail.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    If you are actually naive enough to believe that that saccharine description is all there is to it, you leave yourself very ill equipped to post credibly.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    You mean David Mundell, the last tory MP in Scotland – who doesn’t give a rat’s arse for the interests of the people of Scotland, only those of his small cabal of rich tory chums (or should that be chumps?) We should depend on this shyster to stand up for Scotland? Only if we are suicidal. Crucially, Mundell is not a member of the Scottish Government. So there is no SG representation. Grounds for divorce before we even start.

  • Gingray

    Never seen you complain about racism against Irish before Chris?