Senior career diplomat Tim Barrow has been appointed as Britain’s envoy to the European Union.
Described by Downing Street as “a seasoned and tough negotiator”, Barrow will now play a key role in the UK’s Brexit talks.
His appointment follows the resignation this week of Ivan Rogers who quit writing a scathing letter that exposed divisions among officials over British Prime Minister Theresa May’s exit strategy.
This part of Ivan Rogers' resignation letter is the most brutal – adds credence to Remain fears there's no strategy (via
SamCoatesTimes</a>) <a href="https://t.co/hptJaineOl">pic.twitter.com/hptJaineOl</a></p>— Sebastian Payne (SebastianEPayne) January 3, 2017
Politicians on both sides of the EU debate were divided in their response to Ivan’s resignation, with pro-EU MPs saying the loss of his experience at a crucial time was a blow to the government’s negotiating strategy.
But analysts say his going has revealed more than just difficulties over how to approach the forthcoming talks. They have also revealed divisions between some senior civil servants and ministers .
Rogers’ time in the job had looked uncertain from the moment a report was leaked last year revealing he had warned ministers that a trade deal with the EU could take 10 years to finalise.
Critics accused Rogers of lacking enthusiasm particularly as he was part of David Cameron’s team which tried to renegotiate relations with the EU before the June referendum.
His replacement, however may not be welcomed by some Brexit campaigners who had wanted a known eurosceptic in the post.
- Current political director at the Foreign Office
- Former UK ambassador to Moscow
- Former first secretary at Britain’s embassy in Brussels
- Not known to have taken a strong public position on Brexit
Good to see that the government have replaced a knighted career diplomat with…. a knighted career diplomat.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 4, 2017