Stephen Barclay set for £17,000 golden goodbye as Brexit department shuts
Stephen Barclay is set to receive a £17,000 golden goodbye as the Brexit department begins to wind down ahead of the UK's exit from the European Union.
The outgoing Brexit Secretary is entitled to the hefty payout - around a quarter of his ministerial salary - when the Department for Exiting the EU closes its doors at 11:01pm on Brexit day.
Fellow ministers at the Brexit department will also be eligible for a similar payout when the UK officially exits the EU on Friday, but will be given the choice whether to accept it or not.
Announcing the plans, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: "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."
But Mr Barlcay, who has been in the post since November 2018, could be forced to forfeit the payment under strict Cabinet Office rules if he accepts a new government job within three weeks of his departure from the department.
News of the entitlements come ahead of a planned visit by Boris Johnson to the department to thank staff for their work on the UK's departure since the referendum.
Established in 2016 by Theresa May, the department has been led by three Brexit secretaries, including David Davis and Dominic Raab, who both resigned from the role in oppositon to Mrs May's divorce plans.
Following the Conservative's election win in December, Downing Street announced the department would be closed on the same day as the UK's exit deadline.
In a letter sent to staff ahead of the visit, he said: "This is a historic time for the UK and I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your hard work over the last three and a half years.
"Your contribution and that of the department has been vital to getting us to this moment.
He 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."
The Prime Minister's spokesperson also confirmed that anyone working at the department who wanted to remain in the civil service would be found a new job.