The resigning UK ambassador to the EU warned colleagues to “speak truth to power” and “challenge muddled thinking”, in an unprecedentedly blunt departing email. Sir Ivan Rogers unexpectedly quit, on the eve of Brexit negotiations, and some ten months before his official posting was due to expire, sending shockwaves through London and Brussels. In his resignation email to colleagues, he also made a list of stinging complaints. Most critically, he argued that the British government lacked “serious multilateral negotiating experience” back in London. He went on to add that the structure of the UK’s negotiating team “needs rapid resolution”. Sir Ivan added that he urged colleagues to provide British ministers with their “unvarnished” understanding through Brexit negotiations – “even where this is uncomfortable”. “I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power,” Rogers said. While Sir Ivan’s resignation has been welcomed by UKIP’s Nigel Farage and the Leave millionaire financier Aaron Banks, there has been no official reaction from Number 10 Downing Street, or any of the key position-holders in Brussels.
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Newsline: Resigning UK Ambassador to EU urges ‘Speak truth to power’