Brexit negotiations have begun in Brussels, with the team comprising of eight men and just one female.
The negotiating team arrived in Brussels Monday morning for discussions with EU figureheads. The talks, held at the European Commission buildings in Brussels, will come before a joint press conference by Mr David Davis and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister and EU commissioner.
The discussion is said to be set around organising key priorities and a timetable for future discussions.
BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) were also underrepresented in the negotiating team, with every member of the UK side being white.
Whilst the group have been assembled for their EU expertise, the UK side of the table shows a lack of diversity and doesn’t necessarily speak to how the current government is represented.
The EU27 side of the table appears to be more gender diverse, showing at least five women on their negotiating side.
Aside from Davis and Barnier, the other men at the table include the secretaries for exiting the EU.
The group also consists of Tim Barrow, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union, Mark Phillip Sidwell, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and Glyn Williams, the Director General the Home Office.
The only female is Catherine Webb, who is the director of market access and budget for the Department for Exiting the EU. Webb is an economist and has a long background in the treasury.
Labour MP Harriet Harman tweeted outrage at the nonrepresentational team:
Govt Brexit negotiating team: 7 men 1 woman 0 BAME! Why couldn't they choose on merit? https://t.co/pGRiJXOUmR
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) June 18, 2017
On behalf of the team, British Secretary David Davis said he believed the two sides could reach an agreement on the terms which “works in the best interests of all citizens”.
“We are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends for the future.”
David Davis’ was at the centre of controversy back in 2005 for sexist campaign T-shirts of busty pro-Davis women wearing “It’s DD For Me” T-shirts.
The UK will leave the EU by the end of March 2019 following 2016’s referendum vote.