LONDON British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a senior career diplomat as her envoy to the European Union, replacing an official who criticised the government's Brexit strategy in his resignation letter.
Tim Barrow, political director at the Foreign Office, will replace Ivan Rogers. His appointment marks a return to a candidate from the foreign ministry after the post was filled twice by veterans of Britain's finance ministry.
Government officials say that Barrow is "a seasoned and tough negotiator, with extensive experience of securing UK objectives in Brussels" and will complement what they say are teams with strong EU knowledge based in Britain and in Belgium.
Some commentators say Rogers' departure was a positive step to allow his successor to follow the Brexit process from start to finish. Rogers was due to step down in November.
But others have said it is the latest loss of a senior civil servant with knowledge and experience of the EU, with one Rogers ally describing his departure as part of the "wilful and total destruction of EU expertise".
Following is a list of the top civil servants with EU experience who have left their posts over the last five years: (Sources of information: gov.uk, Wikipedia, local press)
Ivan Rogers, who resigned as the UK Permanent Representative to the EU, has had several roles in British government including working for former prime minister Tony Blair as his principal private secretary in 2003. After five years in the private sector at banks, Rogers returned to the civil service in 2012 as the prime minister's adviser for Europe and Global Issues and the head of the European and Global Issues Secretariat. Rogers moved to Brussels in 2013.
Jonathan Faull, 62, was head of a special Commission task force on negotiating a package of reforms to try to persuade British voters to stay in the European Union before June's referendum. The Brexit task force ended late last year and Faull, who joined the Commission in 1978 and held many positions, announced his retirement.
Shan Morgan, 61, was deputy to Rogers after a career which saw her become Director European Union in the Foreign Office in 2006, responsible for negotiations on the Lisbon Treaty and management of the UK parliamentary process of ratification. British Ambassador to Argentina and Paraguay between 2008-2012. On Nov. 9, 2016, it was announced that Morgan had been appointed as the new permanent secretary for the Welsh Government.
Tom Scholar, 48, is a veteran of Britain's finance ministry, working in several positions since 1992. He became the British representative on boards for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in 2001 and then worked at the British embassy in Washington before returning to London as the principal private secretary to former prime minister Gordon Brown in 2007.
In 2013, former prime minister David Cameron put Scholar in charge of the European and Global Issues Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, a role in which he was Cameron's main EU adviser during his renegotiation. Scholar returned to the Treasury on March 11, 2016, as permanent secretary.
Jonathan Hill was Britain's EU commissioner, responsible for financial services. He resigned two days after the Brexit vote last June. Hill had campaigned for Britain to stay in the bloc and said he didn't believe it was right for him to carry on "as though nothing had happened".
Hill, a former Conservative leader in the upper house of parliament, had become a popular figure among EU colleagues during his 18 months in Brussels. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described him as a "true European" whom he had tried to persuade to stay on.
A former lobbyist, Hill had also served as chief of staff to Conservative prime minister John Major in the 1990s.
Robert Madelin, who spent more than 20 years in senior posts at European institutions after 13 years working for the British civil service mainly in London and Brussels, also stood down last year. During his career he had negotiated for Britain and Europe in trade, investment and services.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan, editing by Larry King)