>> A seasoned and tough negotiator. Thus, 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. His appointment, though, could disappoint some Brexit campaigners who are hungry to see a known Euro skeptic in the post.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage tweeting, good to see the government have replaced a knighted career diplomat with with a knighted career diplomat. Barrel will take up the post next week following the abrupt departure of Ivan Watchers. He quit just months before the UK was due to kick off divorce proceedings with the block.
His scathing resignation later exposing frustration among officials over the prime minister's trustee, according to Watchers' political correspondent, Yme McClelland. It highlights the tensions between the government and a largely pro EU civil service tasked with implementing Brexit. It also shows how closely the prime minister is keeping things close to her chest.
In his resignation letter, Ian Rogers just said that he wasn't aware what the governments negotiating objectives were for Brexit. And he would been one of the key members of that team. So for him to not even have known shows possibly how little preparation has been done or how small group of people have been involved in it.
>> Theresa May is expected to launch Brexit negotiations by the end of March. If so, her new EU envoy doesn't much have time to settle into his new job.