Philip Rycroft

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Philip Rycroft is a British senior civil servant who was appointed permanent secretary at the UK government's Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) in October 2017. He has responsibility for supporting the department and secretary of state in the negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Prior to this, he was the second permanent secretary at DExEU. He has also served as head of the UK Governance Group in the Cabinet Office since June 2015, responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues.

Rycroft has worked in the orivate sector roles as a corporate affairs director at Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Ltd.[1]

Career history

Rycroft was on the Management Group of the Scottish Executive. Among other things he has been seconded to the European Commission and worked as a lobbyist on a two-year secondment.

Philip Rycroft was appointed Head of the Scottish Executive's Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (ETLLD) and took up his post in May 2006, following the retirement of Eddie Frizzell. Prior to that, since June 2002, Mr Rycroft was Head of Schools Group within the Scottish Executive Education Department.

Mr Rycroft obtained a BA (Hons) degree and a DPhil, both in history, at Wadham College, Oxford. He began his career in 1989 in the then Department of Agriculture & Fisheries and moved in January 1992 to the then Industry Department (the forerunner of ETLLD) as Head of the Unit dealing with European Funding.
Following that he undertook a two-year secondment with the European Commission (January 1995 - March 1997), working in the cabinet of the Trade Commissioner, Sir Leon Brittan. He was promoted to the Senior Civil Service in March 1997, first dealing with general agricultural policy and then as Deputy Head of the Policy Unit. Following a further 2 year secondment as Public Affairs Manager with Scottish & Newcastle plc (October 2000 - June 2002), he has been Head of Schools Group within the Scottish Executive Education Department since June 2002. [2]

In 1997 Rycroft was appointed to the government's Land Reform Policy Group.


  1. Philip Rycroft Biography,, accessed 7 February 2018
  2. New appointment at Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department 12/01/2006, Scottish Government, accessed 7 February 2018