Trade Remedies Authority chief exec steps down

Claire Bassett resigns while the post-Brexit trade body is still in shadow form

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The chief executive designate of the Trade Remedies Authority, the UK’s post-Brexit trade regulator, has resigned.

Claire Bassett has stepped down to take up a post in the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the Department for International Trade announced this week.

The watchdog is still in shadow form as DIT’s Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate, with Bassett as director. It is currently carrying out transition reviews into EU measures to determine whether they are fit for purpose for UK industry.


The directorate will become a statutory organisation when the trade bill passes. It will be responsible for investigating claims of unfair trading practices, such as the dumping of foreign products on the UK market at under-fair market rates.

The trade bill, published by Boris Johnson last month, will allow the UK to trade with countries outside the EU after the Brexit transition period ends.

Bassett joined the directorate in January 2019 from the Electoral Commission, where she was chief executive. She has previously led two other government arm’s length bodies: the Parole Board and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  

This is the second personnel change at the top of the shadow body in just over a year. Sir David Wright, the UK’s former ambassador to Japan and Korea, was announced as the TRA’s inaugural chair in October 2018 but stepped down five months later for personal reasons.

Wright’s replacement as chair designate, Simon Walker, will head up the Reading-based watchdog while a new chief exec is appointed, DIT said.

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