UK Permanent Representative to the EU / UK’s EU ambassador tells colleagues to challenge ‘muddled thinking’ / What does Sir Ivan Rogers’ decision to leave early mean? / Foreign Secretary welcomes appointment of Sir Tim Barrow as UK Permanent Representative to the EU

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Series Details 03.01.17
Publication Date 03/01/2017
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A United Kingdom Government Spokesman made a statement on the 3 January 2017 announcing the resignation of the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers.

News sources extensively covered the announcement and discussed the implications of the move. Some interpreted the earlier than expected retirement as reflecting Sir Ivan's disquiet at the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and the triggering of Article 50.

Subsequently, the BBC reported on a leaked memo Sir Ivan had earlier sent to his staff urging his UK colleagues in Brussels to challenge 'muddled thinking and... speak truth to power'. He also said that ministers needed to hear 'unvarnished' and 'uncomfortable' views from Europe.

Jill Rutter in a blog for the Institute of Government on the 3 January 2017 wrote: 'It is rare for the departure of a government official to be the subject of so much instant comment. But in a year which will be dominated by Brexit, the decision by the UK’s top representative in Brussels to leave a few months before schedule is big news'.

Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP said 'I welcome the resignation of UK ambassador to Brussels, Ivan Rogers. The Foreign Office needs a complete clear out'.

Late on the 4 January 2017 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced the appointment of career diplomat Sir Tim Barrow as the UK’s new Permanent Representative to the European Union.

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