Berwick MP reacts to key UK/EU diplomat resigning

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has defended the current Government's plans for Brexit after a key diplomat resigned.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:01 pm
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan on BBC Breakfast this morning.

The UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, quit his role, saying that it would allow for his successor to take charge of the negotiation process which will start in March, but also revealed that the basic structure of the UK Brexit negotiating team had not yet been resolved, let alone a negotiating strategy.

In an email explaining his resignation to colleagues, he added: “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.”

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Mrs Trevelyan said she agreed with him in part, due to the lack of preparations for a Brexit vote.

“The reality was that throughout that time, there was no activity in Whitehall to really try to prepare for what was, bluntly, a 50-50 chance of the British people voting out,” she said.

“Prime Minister Theresa May has spent the summer making sure that Whitehall turned itself round and started to think absolutely in detail about what Brexit means for every government department. She has created three new departments which are now fully staffed and ready to go forwards as Article 50 is triggered in the next couple of months.”

She also highlighted that Sir Ivan was due to stand down in October and as his deputy is also leaving to work for the Welsh Government, his departure allows a new team ‘to take us through the whole, two-year Brexit negotiation process’,