23405 - Head of EU Exit Negotiations Strategy

£52,064 - £70,356
6 Months
Grade 7, Grade 6
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share

The principal role of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is to uphold the rule of law, the cornerstone of the British way of life. The MoJ has a significant role to play in the Government’s work to leave the European Union (EU) and has embarked on an ambitious programme to:

  • secure the best outcome for the UK in leaving the EU, in relation to civil, criminal and family law and the legal profession;
  • put legal services (which contribute £24bn to the economy, with a trade surplus of over £4bn) at the heart of the Government’s plans for enhancing the UK’s competitive position;
  • secure the effective functioning of the UK’s human rights framework; and
  • prepare for the country’s future relationships with the EU and the wider world.

In addition to leading these areas of international negotiations, the MoJ is responsible for making sure the justice system is ready to respond to changes and opportunities as we leave the EU and start trading independently.

The EU Exit Strategy and Engagement team in the Europe Unit sits at the centre of the Department’s work to secure our priorities in relation to the UK’s negotiations with the EU. This involves defining and delivering our objectives and strategies for negotiations in response to developments within Government and the EU; overseeing engagement with the EU; and leading two of the MoJ’s priority negotiating workstreams on civil justice cooperation and criminal justice cooperation.

Are you able to provide leadership in an uncertain and changing context? Are you an excellent communicator able to work across a number of policy teams to produce a shared vision for the Department’s work? Are you able to manage relationships with stakeholders and colleagues to support delivery of policy objectives? Do you enjoy working collaboratively across different disciplines? Do you enjoy working flexibly in a fast-paced environment and collaborating with your colleagues to meet challenges together? Can you present proposals and advice clearly and concisely to a range of audiences – ministers, senior officials, external stakeholders and colleagues?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you should consider this role in the Ministry of Justice. We are looking to recruit a self-motivated, enthusiastic and flexible individual to lead our team on EU Exit Strategy.

Overview of the Role

The EU Exit Strategy & Engagement Branch is comprised of two teams: one which leads on engagement with EU Member States and the EU Institutions, and one which takes a strategic view of all MoJ’s work on EU Exit and leads on cross-cutting policy issues. The two teams work closely together.

The post-holder will be responsible for developing and implementing the department’s strategy for achieving its policy objectives in EU exit negotiations. This will involve working across a range of policy teams to:

  • coordinate policy development and negotiating objectives to ensure their coherence and credibility within Government and with EU partners;
  • lead engagement with DExEU and the Cabinet Office on the MoJ’s policy objectives, ensuring our interests are understood and appropriately prioritised within Government;
  • lead the planning and delivery of negotiations on future arrangements, including the structures and capability required across MoJ;
  • shape the department’s strategy for stakeholder engagement and communications on EU exit;
  • coordinate ministerial engagement on EU exit-related business and lead on Parliamentary engagement;
  • lead on a number of cross-cutting policy areas and manage our relationships with relevant government departments.

This will be a challenging and rewarding role in a high-profile area, with significant exposure to ministers and senior officials. The post-holder will lead a team of 3-4 FTEs.

On a typical day you could be:

  • Advising ministers and senior officials on progress in negotiations with the EU
  • Developing plans to manage and influence key stakeholders on aspects of negotiations
  • Collaborating with policy teams to ensure negotiations work is properly resourced and staff have the right skills
  • Producing responses to questions from Parliamentarians or select committees on the Department’s approach to EU exit
  • Representing the MoJ in discussions with DExEU, Cabinet Office and other government departments on EU exit
  • Presenting to the Global Britain Programme Board or negotiations sub-board

Contact for this role: Jonathan Childs, jonathan.childs@justice.gov.uk

Essential skills and qualifications

  • Confidence to operate in a complex, uncertain and fast-moving environment and provide direction both to direct reports and to wider policy MoJ teams
  • Ability to respond to immediate cross-cutting challenges, as well as to identify and plan for future strategic risks and opportunities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to see the big picture and wider political context
  • Ability to form effective relationships, both within MoJ and across other government departments, and to develop strategic to influence key stakeholders

Further to this it would be desirable, but not essential, for the post-holder to:

  • Have an understanding of policy-making in an EU or international context
  • Have an understanding of the justice system

You will be required to provide evidence of the following competencies:

Making Effective Decisions

  • Push decision-making to the right level in teams and do not allow unnecessary bureaucracy to suppress innovation and delivery
  • Draw together and present reasonable conclusions from a wide range of incomplete and complex evidence and data; be able to act or decide when details are not clear
  • Identify the main issues in complex problems, clarify understanding or stakeholder expectations to seek best option
  • Make difficult decisions by pragmatically weighing the complexities involved against the need to act

Delivering at Pace

  • Get the best out of people by giving enthusiastic and encouraging messages about priorities, objectives and expectations
  • Clarify business priorities, roles and responsibilities and secure individual and team ownership
  • Act as a role model in supporting and energising teams to build confidence in their ability to deliver outcomes
  • Maintain effective performance in difficult and challenging circumstances, encouraging others to do the same

Seeing the Big Picture

  • Anticipate developments to keep activity relevant and targeted
  • Identify implications of Departmental and political priorities and strategy on own area to ensure plans and activities reflect these
  • Adopt a Government-wide perspective to ensure alignment of activity and policy
  • Bring together views and perspectives of stakeholders to gain a wider picture surrounding activities and policies

Leading and Communicating

  • Be visible to staff and stakeholders and regularly undertake activities to engage and build trust
  • Clarify strategies and plans, communicate purpose and direction with clarity and enthusiasm
  • Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels to generate commitment to goals
  • Be open and inviting of the views of others and respond despite pressure to ignore, revert or concede

Selection process details

A sift based on the competency examples provided will be followed by a competency-based interview process. Successful candidates may also be asked to sit a written test before their interview and/or give a short presentation. The nature and content of this will be provided to candidates who are offered an interview.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment, and upon request. If your application falls just below the threshold, you may be offered roles at a lower grade. Expenses are not available for travel to interview.


London Region.

Roles may involve some travel within the UK or EU.

Working pattern:

Full-time, job share or part time.


External applicants and civil servants applying on promotion will be expected to start on the minimum of the pay range (£52,064 for Inner London).



Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on 'modernised' terms in their current post or onto 'unmodernised' MoJ terms if they are on 'unmodernised' terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Generous allowances for paid holiday starting at 25 days per year, and rising as your service increases. There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as salary sacrifice arrangements for childcare vouchers, and voluntary benefits such as retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Interviews are expected to be held in the week commencing 28th January 2019.

16/01/2019, 23:55 hours.

Closing Date: 16th January 2019 at 23.55 hours

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk Please quote the job reference.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Candidate Information

You may be required to provide statements describing your skills and experience relevant to each of the selection criteria. We recommend that you structure any examples as Situation, Task, Action and Result. For more information about the recruitment process and answers to general queries, please click the below link which will direct you to our Candidate Information Page.

Link: https://justicejobs.tal.net/vx/candidate/cms/About%20the%20MOJ

In the event of a large number of applications, we reserve the right to undertake the following processes:

  • An automated online test where a benchmark must be passed to progress;
  • A sift on the lead selection criteria. If this happens, the lead criteria will be the first one listed in the advert.

During the selection process, you may be asked to undertake an additional assessment (such as written test). If this is applicable you will be notified of this when you are invited to interview.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance
Making Effective Decisions
Delivering at Pace
Seeing the Big Picture
Leading and Communicating

This Vacancy is closed to applications.