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.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...