Another exit from the Brexit department as mandarin goes to work for the Royals

Written by James Millar on 26 March 2018 in Diary

A year trying to find an answer to the Irish border issue was quite enough for Simon Case

David Davis lost another of his senior civil servants today when it was announced that Simon Case is to take over as the Duke of Cambridge's private secretary.

Case, who has previously served as the Prime Minister's principal private secretary during both David Cameron and Theresa May's terms in power, will quit the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) in the summer where he was in charge of the knotty problem of the Irish border.

Davis's department has been hit by a string of changes in personnel. Research for the Institute for Government found that the churn of civil servants at DExEU is 9% per quarter, that compares to 9% per year in the rest of Whitehall. As well as key civil servants like Olly Robbins moving to Number 10, the department's head of trade leaving last September and Davis's chief of staff James Chapman quitting last summer there has been a particularly high turnover among ministers. Lord Bridges walked out last summer and his replacement Baroness Anelay only lasted a few months. Theresa May has appointed and sacked both David Jones and Mark Garnier at the department.

At Kensington Palace Simon Case will become the most senior member of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's team. Last year the Duke quit his air ambulance job to concentrate on his royal duties full time. He has recently visited a number of European countries in what has been seen as a pre-Brexit charm offensive orchestrated by the Foreign Office. 

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