Five candidates are competing to lead the government’s new Brexit Opportunities Unit, but the Cabinet Office declined to say how many minority ethnic candidates have been included in the shortlist, it has been revealed.
The shortlist comes after a total of 76 people have applied for the role but the government declined to reveal how diverse their top five are, citing data protection laws, Financial News has revealed.
The new department will help Brexit minister David Frost to find benefits from leaving the European Union, and its new leader will be paid up to £120,000 per year from taxpayers’ money.
‘Give advice to Boris Johnson’
The successful candidate will “oversee the development of the government’s strategy for regulatory change, while driving forward policy development on new opportunities across Whitehall”, according to the government’s job posting.
It added the candidate “will engage effectively with ministers, including the prime minister, to make sure that they are given succinct and clear advice on a variety of policies and will contribute to a convincing public narrative on successful delivery of the benefits of Brexit.”
Last month, Brexit minister David Frost said the UK is “embarked on a great voyage” as he highlighted changes the government intends to make outside the EU.
Brexit minsiter David Frost
Frost said the government intends to create a “pro-growth trusted data rights regime” which would replace the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
He claimed the new regime would be “more proportionate and less burdensome”.
Frost also said the government intends to review EU’s approach to genetically modified organisms, which the UK government thinks is “too restrictive and not based on sound science” and is thus set to reform it.
“Brexit is now a fact. This country is now embarked on a great voyage,” Frost said.
He added: “We each have the opportunity to make this new journey a success. To make us as a country more contented, more prosperous, more united and I hope everyone will join us in doing so.”
Cost of Brexit
But upon Baroness Wheatcroft asking Frost at what cost the Brexit “freedom” praised by the government has been bought for, Frost said he did not think it was bought at any cost.
He immediately added: “I don’t make any apologies for standing up for freedom, for free enterprise and freedom to think and debate things.
“I think it is axiomatic that free debate, free enterprise, free economies and the ability to change your government will always benefit the countries that have those things.”
But a Goldman study published in 2019 suggested Brexit costs the UK £600m per week, a much bigger sum than the £350m a week sum which the Leave campaign promised for the NHS before the Brexit vote, claiming it was money sent by the UK to the EU.