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Career diplomat to replace UK EU envoy

Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 01:25

British Prime Minister Theresa May appoints senior diplomat Tim Barrow as envoy to the European Union after the abrupt departure of his predecessor revealed deep frustration among senior officials over the UK government's Brexit strategy. Jo Webster reports.

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A "seasoned and tough negotiator": that's Downing Street's verdict on its new envoy to the European Union. Tim Barrow - political director at the Foreign Office - appointed on Wednesday. He's a former ambassador to Moscow and served as first secretary at Britain's embassy in Brussels early in his career. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "I think Sir Tim Barrow is an inspired choice to lead the negotiation. He is a man who comes without the baggage of having had a very clear public stance on Brexit, but he is a steely and competetent negotiator, precisely what is needed at this stage of the challenge." His appointment, though, could disappoint some Brexit campaigners, who were hungry to see a known eurosceptic in the post. Barrow will take up the post next week, following the abrupt departure of Ivan Rogers. He quit just months before the UK was due to kick-off divorce proceedings with the bloc. His scathing resignation letter exposing frustration among officials over the Prime Minister's strategy. He claimed London lacked experienced negotiators and urged the team on the ground in Brussels to "challenge muddled thinking." Theresa May is expected to launch Brexit negotiations by the end of March.

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Career diplomat to replace UK EU envoy

Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 01:25