The Financial Times is reporting that Britain’s top EU Ambassador, Sir Ivan Rogers, is stepping down before his term is over at the end of the year.
The move has come as a shock to top diplomatic staff and the Foreign Office.
His Brussels experience began as chief of staff to Lord Brittan, the former EU commissioner who was overseeing the bloc’s trade policy. Sir Ivan could not be contacted for comment. He was highly regarded by other EU ambassadors, who expected Sir Ivan to see through the Brexit negotiations.
It’s more likely that he was pushed rather than left of his own volition.
Just two weeks ago the BBC reported that Sir Ivan Rogers had told privately ministers a post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise and still fail.
He was widely regarded as Britain’s most experienced trade negotiator.
Huge moment, Ivan has decades of experience in European diplomacy. Can't remember last time such a senior diplomat resigned https://t.co/CztmaAbuUg
— James Sorene (@Jsorene) January 3, 2017
Update: The former head of the Treasury has just tweeted:
Ivan Rogers huge loss. Can't understand wilful&total destruction of EU expertise, with Cunliffe,Ellam&Scholar also out of loop.#amateurism
— nick macpherson (@nickmacpherson2) January 3, 2017
This isn’t the only such incident.
A few weeks ago, the consultancy Deloitte apologised and said it would withdraw from government contracts for six months after its advice (also leaked) made similar noises about Brexit.
Is Theresa May is pushing out all naysayers?
Looks like the control-reakery is back with a vengeance