David Davis served as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from July 2016 to July 2018.
In 2016, following a referendum in which a majority of those voting supported leaving the European Union, Davis was appointed by new Prime Minister Theresa May as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with responsibility for negotiating the UK's prospective exit from the EU.
Davis has served as Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden since 1997. He was previously elected to the House of Commons for Boothferry in 1987 and re-elected in 1992. He was Minister of State for Europe from 1994 to 1997.
Davis worked for Tate & Lyle for 17 years, rising to become a senior executive, including restructuring its troubled Canadian subsidiary, Redpath Sugar. He wrote about his business experiences in the 1988 book 'How to Turn Round a Company.'
Davis was brought up on a council estate in Tooting, South West London. After attending Bec Grammar School in Tooting, he went on to gain a master's degree in business at the age of 25, and went into a career with Tate & Lyle. Entering Parliament in 1987 at the age of 38 for Boothferry, he was appointed Europe Minister by Prime Minister John Major in 1994. He held the position until the 1997 general election. He subsequently was Conservative Party Chairman and Shadow Secretary of State for the Office of Deputy Prime Minister.
Between 2003-08, he was the Shadow Home Secretary in the Shadow Cabinets of both Michael Howard and David Cameron. Davis had previously been a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2001 and 2005, coming fourth and second respectively. On 12 June 2008, Davis unexpectedly announced his intention to resign as an MP, and was immediately replaced as Shadow Home Secretary; this was in order to force a by-election in his seat for which he intended to seek re-election by mounting a specific campaign designed to provoke wider public debate about the erosion of civil liberties in the United Kingdom.
In 2010 David chaired The Future of Banking Commission which investigated the causes of the recent banking crisis. Funded by the consumer organisation Which?, many of the Commission’s recommendations were subsequently adopted by the Government’s Independent Commission on Banking.
In 2011, David was lead author and editor of a book of essays written by MPs and leading political thinkers. Entitled The Future of Conservatism: Values Revisited, the book provided a blueprint for the future direction of Conservative Party policy.
Following his formal resignation as an MP he became the Conservative candidate in the resulting by-election and won a month later. In 2012, he founded Conservative pressure group Conservative Voice together with Liam Fox to extend the grassroots voice of members which he thought was getting lost in the party.