Dominic Rennie Raab is a British Conservative Party politician who has been Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union since 9 July 2018.
The son of a Czech-born Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis in 1938, Dominic Raab was brought up in Buckinghamshire and took a law degree at Oxford University before switching to Cambridge for his Master’s. Rabb’s career before entering politics was stellar. After picking up degrees, he joined the multinational law firm Linklaters as a solicitor, then cut his negotiating teeth in the late 1990s working for one of the principal Palestinian negotiators of the Oslo peace accords. “He’s very courteous and will always listen to different sides of the argument,” a former colleague says.
In 2000, he joined the Foreign Office, where he covered a range of briefs including the European Union and bringing war criminals to trial in The Hague. It was here that he defended Tony Blair from subpoena by the former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević. He entered politics in 2006 as an aide first to David Davis – the man he is now replacing – and then Dominic Grieve, the Remain-backing Tory MP.
Raab was elected as Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton in 2010. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice on 12 May 2015. In Theresa May’s first Cabinet reshuffle a year later, he returned to the backbenches.
Following the 2017 general election, Raab was appointed Minister of State for Courts and Justice. In January 2018, Theresa May re-shuffled the Cabinet and Raab moved to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. On 9 July 2018, Raab was appointed Brexit secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May following David Davis’ resignation.
A staunch Brexiteer, who was calling for Britain’s exit from the EU long before the referendum, Mr Raab is said to be “relaxed” about a “no deal” Brexit scenario and last month called on the UK to display more “economic self-confidence” in talks with Brussels, urging Mrs May not to “cower in a corner” over Brexit.
Raab’s appointment as Brexit secretary may be less divisive than the alternatives. Febrile pro-Brexit MPs are sated, at least temporarily, by having one of their own running the show. “Dominic Raab is a good thing,” says one. “He’ll hold the prime minister to her promises.”