Policy Adviser - Goods & Borders

London (Westminster) SW1A
£31,494 - £46,464
12 Jul 2019
25 Jul 2019
Contract Type

Market Access and Budget Directorate

Market Access and Budget (MAB) is at the centre of one of the most important negotiations the UK will undertake in a generation. Our role is to drive HM Government’s (HMG’s) preparations to deliver a new economic relationship with the EU. A role in MAB offers a unique opportunity to work on a historic project.

MAB is a flexible, dynamic and supportive team that plays an important role at the centre of government. You can expect to collaborate with a wide range of colleagues from across Whitehall and within DExEU, the UK Representation to the EU, Cabinet Office Europe Unit and external stakeholders.

You will need to be comfortable dealing with the complexity and ambiguity of our exceptional circumstances. This changing landscape presents exciting opportunities and challenges that we need to respond to with agility. In return, you will get an unparalleled insight into how government works and an unrivalled opportunity to build your own professional network. Our flat structure and engaged, motivated teams enable us to move at pace, evolve and collaborate effectively.

Policy Adviser - Northern Ireland (5 roles)

We are looking for up to five dynamic operators who are able to balance a range of competing demands to manage complex problems and coordinate across departments to deliver to tight deadlines.

Some roles will focus on ensuring that the UK is well prepared for crucial discussions about the arrangements described in the Protocol on Northern Ireland (the ‘backstop’).  This is a technically complex and politically sensitive area, that will require bringing together the work of a wide range of Departments, working especially closely with BEIS, Defra and HMT/HMRC, as well as other parts of DExEU and Cabinet Office Europe Unit. A close working relationship with territorial offices and devolved administrations will also be important.

The further posts will play a crucial role in developing and delivering the UK’s policy on Alternative Arrangements to the Northern Ireland backstop, which are likely to form a key plank of the UK’s future negotiations with the EU in all scenarios. Work is currently focused on taking forward the planned Minister-Chaired external Working Groups as well as developing the broader HMG picture ahead of discussions with the European Commission. The work stream is exceptionally high profile, and you will engage closely with Ministers, senior officials and a significant range of wider stakeholders. This will be a fast-paced, challenging and extremely rewarding role as part of a high-performing, collaborative and supportive team, with strong involvement in domestic ministerial and UK-EU discussions.

Key responsibilities for all five roles will include:

  • Collaborating closely with other departments to support the development of policy proposals;
  • Managing a complex programme of work, driving progress, identifying blockers and escalating risks in an ambiguous context;
  • Providing secretariat support for cross-Whitehall governance;
  • Drafting high quality advice for Ministers and senior officials; and
  • Briefing Ministers in writing and in person ahead of public engagements, including in parliament.


Policy Adviser - Goods & Borders (2 roles)

We are also looking for two proactive problem solvers who are able to quickly grapple nuanced policy issues and work with departments to agree positions in a shifting political landscape. Goods & Borders issues are among the most economically and politically important in our Future Economic Partnership, and the post holders will have the opportunity to influence this crucial part of the UK’s relationship with the EU for decades to come.

The first post is a policy role on Rules of Origin (RoO) and goods market access (preferential tariff arrangements) for UK-EU trade. DExEU is the Chapter Lead for both RoO and tariffs, which gives you the opportunity to be part of a wider team which is driving forward and leading across Whitehall UK-EU Future Economic Partnership (FEP) policy development and negotiation readiness work for RoO and tariffs. The post holder will be required to develop a deep understanding of complex policy areas, working collaboratively with other Government departments. The role is an exciting opportunity to be part of a central, negotiation focussed team which is flexible, dynamic and supportive.

The second post will be focussed on agriculture, food and drink - a key sector both economically and politically, with over £22 billion of British produce exported each year and significant levels of parliamentary and ministerial interest. Agricultural policy issues span across almost the entirety of our Future Economic Partnership, requiring the post-holder to be able to get to the bottom of complex issues quickly, make effective decisions that reflect a complex and shifting political context before collaborating effectively to steer Government policy. As part of the wider Goods, Agriculture and Fisheries Team, responsibilities will also include leading on issues that cut across goods sectors, and be expected to contribute to the enthusiastic, supportive and collaborative environment within the team.

Key responsibilities of both roles will include:

  • Collaborating closely with other departments to develop policy proposals, negotiation parameters and strategy for FEP negotiations;
  • Drafting high quality advice for ministers and senior officials;
  • Briefing Ministers in writing and in person ahead of public engagements, including in parliament;
  • Leading the development of materials to use in negotiations, such as supporting legal text development and negotiation briefs;
  • Engaging with stakeholders both to inform policy development and communicate key messages; and
  • Providing secretariat support for cross-Whitehall governance.

What We’re Looking For

These Policy Adviser roles are well suited to ambitious individuals who are resilient, adaptable and comfortable working in a fast-paced, ambiguous environment. They are demanding roles, which will require you to tackle complex and varied issues, and to lead high quality work at pace in a fast-changing environment. You will demonstrate and develop personal resilience and support to the wider team. A strong track record of working independently to deliver under pressure will be important; you will be a quick learner and used to taking initiative in a range of scenarios. Experience of policy development or project delivery will be desirable, but is not essential.

We expect applicants to demonstrate high levels of personal impact and effectiveness, have exceptional verbal and written communication skills using sound judgement with a strategic awareness. You should have a proven ability to develop strong relationships of trust and be able to deliver through those. You will need strong communication skills to make sure that ministers and senior officials have clear, well-judged, and concise advice.

For all roles we welcome candidates interested in full-time, part-time or flexible working arrangements (including job share arrangements).

We are a flexible and disability confident employer 

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