David Cameron chooses ‘Europhile’ Ivan Rogers to represent UK in Brussels

PM provokes Eurosceptic Conservative MPs

For Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, David Cameron could barely have made a more provocative choice.

The Prime Minister has chosen Ivan Rogers – the former chief adviser to their pro-EU hate figure, Kenneth Clarke – to be the UK’s next ambassador to the EU in Brussels, with the task of renegotiating Britain’s place within the organisation.

Mr Rogers, currently the Prime Minister’s adviser on Europe, is expected to see his appointment confirmed within weeks. But some Tories will be alarmed by his apparently Europhile background – he has also served as chief of staff to the former vice-president of the European Commission, Lord Brittan.

His role will be highly significant as he will lead efforts to claw back powers to Britain ahead of a 2017 referendum promised by Mr Cameron on EU membership. Tory Eurosceptics said the job was so critical to the national interest that the appointment should be subject to veto by MPs, as he is an unelected official.

They are calling for him to be summoned before a parliamentary committee before his promotion is confirmed, but their demands are being strongly resisted by Downing Street.

Bill Cash, the chairman of European Scrutiny Committee, said the holder of the post “holds the key to the whole of the legislative negotiations that take place” and should appear before MPs.

He told The Independent: “They have to be held accountable and the policies they are adopting have to be held accountable.”

His fellow Eurosceptic, Douglas Carswell, also complained that MPs would not get the opportunity to cross-examine Mr Rogers over his views.

He said: “Despite all that ‘new-politics-accountable-government’ blah blah we heard so much about before the last election, those we elect will not have the chance to ask Mr Rogers before he is handed the role. Government accountability to Parliament, it seems to me, is a fiction.”

The Government argues that the post of UK Permanent Representative to the EU should not be subject to veto as the incumbent pursues policies which are fixed by ministers who are answerable to MPs. One MP said last night: “So long as he’s an EU reformist then it’s good news. We need someone with focus and the will to achieve change on several fronts – one or two reforms are not enough.”

The post has become vacant after Sir Jon Cunliffe announced he was stepping down to become the deputy governor of the Bank of England.

Whitehall sources said Mr Rogers had impressed the Prime Minister with his work preparing the ground for the G8 summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in June.

He is also said to have helped improve relations between Britain and Germany, which could prove crucial in negotiations over the EU’s future.

He was appointed Mr Cameron’s adviser on Europe and global issues in 2011, a position formerly held by Sir Jon. His mixture of Government and City experience will be important as British ministers attempt to wrest powers back to Britain and to resist pressure for tighter regulation of financial institutions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before