POLITICS

'More Beards Than Women': UK's Brexit Negotiating Team Slammed For Gender Disparity

'This is turning me feminist...'

19/06/2017 12:55 | Updated 4 days ago

Brexit negotiations kicked off today, and it was quickly apparent that the men are very much in charge.

A snap of the UK’s team as they sat opposite their EU counterparts revealed a real lack of diversity amongst the negotiators, with all but one of the nine officials being white men.

The only woman on the team is Catherine Webb, the Director of Market Access and Budget in the Brexit Department.

The EU’s team had a slightly greater gender balance, as of the seven core negotiators, two are women.

Twitter users were quick to comment on dominance of white men in the team, with one quipping:

One user tried to put a positive spin on the lack of woman:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Brexit Secretary David Davis shakes hands with the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

The talks kicked off today in Brussels with a joint press conference between UK Brexit Secretary David Davis and the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

About heightened rhetoric leading up to the talks - including Theresa May claiming the EU had issued “threats” to the UK - Davis tried to strike a friendly tone.

He said: “While there will undoubtedly be challenging times ahead of us in the negotiations we will do all that we can to ensure we deliver a deal that works in the best interests of all of our citizens.

“To that end we are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves, our European allies and friends.” 

The EU and UK have until March 2019 to negotiate the terms of a new trade deal, or Britain will find itself engaging with the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms. 

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