Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

What the papers say: Sir Ivan ‘the terrible’ or a terrible loss?

Sir Ivan Rogers is stepping down from his role as the UK’s ambassador to the EU – but is his departure really such a great loss? In his explosive resignation email, Rogers urged his colleagues to challenge ‘muddled thinking’ and ‘speak truth to power’, in a parting shot at Theresa May. So is this evidence of a Brexit botch-up? Not so, says the Sun, who calls the departing diplomat ‘Ivan the terrible’ and says it won’t weep over his decision to quit. A quick glance at the ‘pathetic empty shell’ of David Cameron’s EU renegotiation deal is all you need to see as to why Roger’s resignation is no great loss, the paper says. After all, if it’s true that Rogers was ‘always ‘happy to take ‘No’ for an answer’ from Eurocrats’ then good riddance, the Sun says.

But this assessment of Rogers misses the point, insists the FT, which says that his decision to quit ‘deprives the UK of its one of its most experienced officials in Brussels’. It says it’s unfair for some to have claimed Rogers was an unwavering Eurocrat – after all, the paper says, he has stayed quiet about the referendum since the vote and is, in fact, a ‘man of a Eurosceptic hue’. While it might be the case that Rogers ‘developed something of a reputation for his gloomy prognoses’ we should mourn his loss, the FT argues. After all, the paper says, Theresa May made it clear in an interview with the Spectator that she wanted civil servants to speak their mind: given Rogers did just that we can only hope that his replacement will be ‘equally forthright’.

Don’t panic, says the Daily Telegraph which argues that there’s an obvious way of realising that Sir Ivan’s departure is no great loss.

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