By Guy Faulconbridge
LONDON Jan 4 British Prime Minister Theresa May
appointed a senior career diplomat as envoy to the European
Union to replace an ambassador who quit with a scathing
resignation letter that exposed frustration among officials over
Tim Barrow, political director of the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office and a former ambassador to Moscow, would
take up the post next week, May's Downing Street office said,
following the abrupt resignation of Ivan Rogers.
The selection of Barrow, a 30 year veteran diplomat, could
disappoint some Brexit campaigners who would like to see a known
eurosceptic in the post, but may reassure Britain's cadre of
civil servants that their expertise is still valued.
Barrow has served as first secretary at Britain's embassy in
Brussels but is not known to have taken a strong public position
In a statement released by May's Downing Street office,
Barrow said he looked forward to joining the new government
department tasked with overseeing the exit from the European
Union, "to ensure we get the right outcome for the United
Kingdom as we leave the EU".
Downing Street described him as "a seasoned and tough
negotiator, with extensive experience of securing UK objectives
May intends to launch the two-year process of negotiating to
leave the bloc by the end of March, beginning what is expected
to be some of the most complicated international talks Britain
has engaged in since World War Two.
She has so far said little publicly about Britain's
negotiating position, arguing that to do so would weaken
London's hand in talks.
Rogers said in a letter to his staff that May's negotiating
objectives were as yet unknown and told them: "I hope you will
continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled
After Rogers's resignation, some Conservative Party
Eurosceptics said he should be replaced by someone who was more
positive about Brexit.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Stephen Addison; Editing by