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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Brexit: UK’s Ambassador To EU Resigns

Image result for Sir Ivan Rogers,
The UK’s top ambassador to EU in Brussels, Sir Ivan Rogers, has resigned.
Sir Ivan, who was appointed to the role of permanent representative by David Cameron in 2013, had been expected to play a key role in Brexit talks expected to start within months.


The Foreign Office said it would not give reasons for his departure at the moment.
Last month the BBC revealed he had privately told ministers a UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise.


He told them this was also the view of the other 27 member states.
BBC Brussels correspondent Kevin Connolly said it appeared there had been “some failure of synchronicity” between Sir Ivan and the UK government.


Sir Ivan was due to leave his post in November but is stepping down early, the Financial

Times reported.

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the Brexit select committee, said Sir Ivan’s resignation had come at a “crucial” time and urged the government to “get its skates on” in finding a replacement.


“It couldn’t be a more difficult time to organise a handover,” he added.
Mr Benn told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One the permanent representative’s job was to convey the view of Britain to the 27 member states, as well as “honestly and fearlessly reporting back” what those countries in turn said about the negotiations.


Prime Minister Theresa May says she will trigger formal talks between the UK and the EU by the end of March, setting in place a two-year negotiation process.


Before his EU role, Sir Ivan, a veteran civil servant, worked as the private secretary for ex-chancellor Ken Clarke.
He was criticised in some quarters for “pessimism” over Brexit after his advice on the timescale was reported.