• Sunday, May 22, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

UK’s top EU diplomat resigns ahead of Brexit talks

  • Published at 10:16 pm January 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:34 pm January 3rd, 2017
UK’s top EU diplomat resigns ahead of Brexit talks

The UK’s ambassador to the European Union (EU), Sir Ivan Rogers, today unexpectedly resigned from the post. The senior diplomat had been expected to lead the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the economic bloc but was recently in the eye of a storm following the leak of an internal memo in which he claimed leaving the EU could take up to a decade.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the resignation on Tuesday but has declined to give any reasons behind the move at this stage. Labour MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the UK Parliament’s Brexit Select Committee, said the resignation had come at a "crucial" time. “It couldn't be a more difficult time to organise a handover," he said.

Rogers occupied the post of the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union (UKRep), which represents the UK in negotiations that take place in the EU. UKRep is one of the busiest posts, with a team sourced from over 20 UK government departments working to ensure that UK policies are explained to other EU member states, the European Commission and members of the European Parliament.

Rogers, a veteran civil servant, was due to leave his post in November 2017 but is stepping down early.

Last month, it emerged that he had privately told ministers a UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise. The leak of the private memo is believed to have caused him a lot of embarrassment and strained relations with Downing Street. British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her intention to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treat to trigger official talks for Britain's exit from the EU by the end of March this year. Rogers was expected to play a central role in those deliberations. However, now the government will need to put a replacement in place.

Leave EU, a pro-Brexit campaign group, tweeted: "Pessimist Rogers - who warned Brexit would take 10 years - is to leave his post as UK Ambassador to the EU. Good - time for some optimism!"

However, Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform think tank, warned that Sir Ivan Rogers’ departure “makes a good deal on Brexit less likely”.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail