UK government boosts Brexit ministerial team

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The government has beefed up its Brexit team giving business heavyweight Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe responsibility for overseeing Brexit’s impact on financial services.

A commercial secretary to the Treasury, she will be adding the role to her duties. The financial services brief was previously handled by city minister Simon Kirby.

The move, which the Treasury said took place in January but not confirmed until now, follows reports senior City executives were unhappy with Mr Kirby’s credentials, after he was unable to provide detailed answers and assurances about how the Treasury was handling Brexit.

Mr Kirby had no experience in banking or finance before stepping into politics, having launched and jointly owned a business called C-Side in Brighton and a local radio station that became Juice FM.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, enobled by David Cameron in 2013, is a former director of Tesco, the food retailer, and a one-time high ranking civil servant who was a member of John Major’s policy unit between 1992-1994, and later head of deregulation in the Cabinet Office from 1995-97.

The City Of London Corporation welcomed news of Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s expanded role in the Square Mile. A spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with Baroness Neville-Rolfe in her new City brief.

“It is essential that the City’s voice is heard loud and clear during the Brexit negotiations, especially after Article 50 is triggered later this month.”

Financial services contributed over £176bn to the economy in 2015, accounting for over 2.2 million jobs across the country.

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