Dominic Raab unable to say who is charge of Brexit now

Dominic Raab answers questions on Brexit in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons/Parli

Dominic Raab answers questions on Brexit in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons/Parliament TV. - Credit: Archant

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is unable to say who is in charge of Brexit now that the Department for Exiting the European Union has been wound down.

Appearing in the House of Commons the Labour backbencher Hilary Benn asked Raab who was now in charge, given he has an important role of holding to account ministers on parliament's Brexit select committee.

He told MPs: "In the prime minister's other written ministerial statement this morning on the closure of the Department for Exiting the European Union, he said 'those of its functions which are still required have been transferred to relevant government departments.'

"Will the foreign secretary tell the house to which department and which minister responsibility for the negotiations on our future relationship with the EU has been transferred? The Exiting the European Union Committee will be keen to hear from him or her as soon as they are identified."

But a red-faced foreign secretary clearly could not give a firm answer on who Benn should be inviting to future meetings.

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He said: "Of course, people from a range of departments were siphoned into DExEU when it was created. We have taken back a significant number of DExEU officials into the foreign office, and the minister for Europe and the Americas... They will be integrated into the wider functions of government in the usual way."

His answer prompted laughter from those in the chamber who were none-the-wiser.

The prime minister has denied he is trying to ban the word Brexit from its day-to-day business of government, but says now it's "over" there is no need to mention it.

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