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Implementing the UK’s Exit from the European Union: The Department for International Trade

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published a briefing on how the Department for International Trade (DIT) is preparing for the EU Exit and the steps it has made, since its creation in 2016, to establish the best trading framework for the UK to maximise trade and investment after the UK leaves.

The briefing sets out the following:

  • The scale of DIT’s task. Of the 313 EU exit work streams identified by DExEU, DIT is accountable for eight. This includes some complex challenges, new legislation and scenario-based planning, namely preparing for and determining changes to the EU trade agreements to ensure they continue to function after the UK leaves the EU.
  • How DIT has set about its task. The department has grown rapidly since its creation in 2016, supported by additional funding to strengthen its trade policy capabilities. The department is planning its legislation programme and is beginning to develop its skills requirements.
  • How DIT is working with others, including the cross government Trade Policy Steering Board on EU Exit Trade policy and in developing a trade negotiating capability across government.

Notes for Editors

July 2016

The month DIT was created, in response to the UK's decision to exit the European Union (EU)

Staff employed by DIT in October 2017.

The number of overseas countries in which DIT staff are located.

DIT’s budget for 2016-17

Number of EU exit work streams, as at December 2017, that DIT is responsible for.

The number of overseas regions led by trade commissioners to provide a greater focus on trade.


Additional funding provided in 2016 Autumn Statement to fund the establishment of DIT up to 2019/20.

Over £25m
Additional funding agreed with HM Treasury for DIT EU Exit work in 2017/18


NAO Press Office
+44 (0)20 7798 7400 or email

PN: 6/18