At a speech to the House of Commons assembly earlier today, PM David Cameron (Witney), outlined plans for a new ministry that will organise the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The new ministry, referred to as the “EU Unit” will be run by employees from Her Majesty’s Home Civil Service and lead by Oliver Letwin MP (West Dorset). The unit’s creation was a collaboration between Cameron and the Cabinet, particularly Vote Leave’s chair, Michael Gove MP (Surrey Heath). Following the announcement of Cameron’s resignation, Gove may be the next Prime Minister, though another name that’s been speculated is Boris Johnson MP (Uxbridge and South Ruislip).
As the unit isn’t to be a cabinet ministry, Johnson wasn’t present at the unit creation (not being a cabinet minister). The aim of the unit is to work-through the bureaucratic issues that will need to be resolved during Brexit, which can only officially be triggered by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty; the unit’s aim is to prepare for Article 50’s activation, but not to authorise that (which will be the duty of the next Prime Minister, to be announced by the Conservative and Unionist party conference on 2nd October). During this time, despite not being a cabinet ministry, the unit will still report to the cabinet on their progress. It is understood that the Unit is being established in place of a Brexit contingency plan not having been properly drawn-up, hence why numerous ministries are collaborating on the unit – such as Her Majesty’s Home Civil Service (PM David Cameron (Witney)), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Philip Hammond MP (Runnymede and Weybridge)) and Her Majesty’s Treasury (George Osborne MP (Tatton)) – as a single department.
Hammond is due to meet with 68th United States Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss how Brexit will impact British-American relations. Cameron is not to be a part of those talks. Once Cameron is replaced, the unit will present his successor with numerous options regarding the Brexit strategy, but won’t have any decision-making power.The unit is more of an administrative inter-departmental facility.