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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory