London – When Prime Minister Theresa May took over from former prime minister David Cameron after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, she wasted no time in picking three key players for her Conservative cabinet to pave the way for Britain’s future outside the EU.
LIAM FOX, 55, vied for the Conservative leadership role but was beaten by May, who appointed him head of the newly created department for international trade. A staunch eurosceptic, Fox is now tasked with drumming up interest from non-EU countries over bilateral trade deals.
In his quest to show that Britain is “open for business” he has spoken to the Toronto Board of Trade in Canada and met with his counterpart in South Africa, as well as addressing the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
He also tapped into Britain’s connections with former colonies with the first Commonwealth trade ministers’ meeting on March 9.
DAVID DAVIS, 68, was appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union but is more commonly referred to as the Brexit Secretary. Relatively unknown before the Brexit period, he has held various political posts, including Foreign Office Minister from 1994 to 1997, where he was responsible for government negotiations on Europe and NATO enlargement.
He is now the face of Brexit on the home front. He will support May in her negotiations with the EU and outline policy to support divorce talks, working with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and liaising with Parliament on Brexit-related issues.
After Britain’s highest court ruled that Parliament should have a say in triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to kick off talks with the EU on the terms of Britain’s departure, Davis became known for issuing warnings to lawmakers not to frustrate “the will of the people” by delaying the government’s deadline to begin proceedings.
BORIS JOHNSON, 52, is one of the most gaffe-prone politicians in British history and is best known for his controversial comments, making him a divisive choice for the role of foreign secretary.
The mop-haired former mayor of London and ex-journalist has garnered a reputation as a lovable buffoon after a number of memorable incidents including getting stuck on a zipwire while promoting the 2012 London Olympics and knocking over a child during a rugby match on a trip to Japan.
But Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or BoJo as he is nicknamed, shocked the public by backing Brexit, campaigning against his long-time friend and former prime minister David Cameron in what many saw as a thinly-veiled bid to take the top job himself.
His diplomacy gaffes have included accusing British ally Saudi Arabia of “puppeteering and playing proxy wars” in the same week May met with Saudi leaders at a Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Bahrain.
Johnson also reportedly enraged an Italian minister by suggesting the country would lose out on Prosecco sales if the British market was shut out of EU trade.