Sir Ivan Rogers, the permanent representative to the European Union (EU) regarded widely as being responsible for David Cameron’s “thin gruel” pre-referendum EU renegotiation, has resigned early from his post.
The move comes just one month after the former prime minister made the diplomat a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, which is supposed to recognise exceptional non-military service overseas, in an honours list criticised as “so full of cronies it would embarrass a medieval court”.
Sir Ivan alluded to “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking” in his resignation letter, complaining that we still “do not yet know what the Government will set as negotiating objectives for the UK’s relationship with the EU after exit”.
The Oxford graduate, who previously served as a ‘Chef de Cabinet’ for the European Commission, drew heavy criticism for claiming that putting together a UK/EU deal after Brexit could “take ten years and still fail”. This claim was rubbished in leaked minutes of a private meeting between the EU’s own negotiating team, who felt a deal with the UK could be secured much sooner than with Canada, which concluded an agreement after seven years.
Sources inside Downing Street told journalist Tim Shipman that Sir Ivan was a “status quo” figure where Brussels was concerned, “happy to take ‘No’ for an answer, happy to believe things weren’t possible when they could be possible.” The source added that they had “lost count of the number of times Ivan threatened to resign.”
Leave Means Leave co-chairman Richard Tice told Breitbart London that Sir Ivan’s resignation was “a wonderful New Year present for the country”.
Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage described Sir Ivan as “a fanatical Remainer” and welcomed his resignation as “an opportunity to put somebody in place who believes in what the country voted for”.
“Nobody has done more to give away the independence and democracy of this country than the Foreign Office,” he added. “I hope that this resignation is the beginning of a clear out, and we get a completely new group of people in there who believe in an independent United Kingdom pursuing a global, not European, future.”
Sir Ivan’s departure was also welcomed by Major-General Julian Thompson, chairman of Veterans for Britain.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, the Falklands War hero claimed that Sir Ivan had failed to properly brief MPs and ministers on a raft of EU military integration proposals, which he believes the UK is now embroiled in despite the Brexit vote.
“UKREP signed off key parts of the plans and the UK is now stuck with the consequences,” he said. “It is difficult to find the democratic sanction behind these actions.”
Listen: Jack Mongtomery speaks to Breitbart News Daily show host Raheem Kassam about the resignation of Sir Ivan: