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I wrote this diary before I heard of Rogers' resignation, but this confirms exactly what I said:

"The political processes used to reinforce opposing negotiating mandates may help to transform the Brexit negotiating process from a rational process aimed at maximising mutual economic advantage to a political process required to keep domestic political oppositions at bay. Instead of trying to resolve differences, negotiators will be instructed to see the negotiations as a war between competing national interests where any concessions could be construed as a signs of weakness at home."

Rogers resignation is latest sign Britain is heading for hard Brexit

The former EU commissioner Peter Mandelson said: "In terms of knowledge and experience of the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers is second to none in Whitehall. His resignation is a serious loss for us in Brussels.

"Our negotiation as a whole will go nowhere if ministers are going to delude themselves about the immense difficulty and challenges Britain faces in implementing the referendum decision."

It looks as if Rogers was hounded from office not for the crime of disloyalty but because he was too negative - not capable of seeing the opportunities that May claims are around the corner.

Signs continue to abound that British Eurosceptics still inhabit an entirely different planet, let alone continent, from everyone else in 2017.

Earlier on Tuesday, Michael Gove's thinktank Change Britain claimed that far from destroying trade, leaving the EU customs union would create 400,000 jobs by allowing hitherto unrecognised opportunities in the rest of the world - a claim dismissed as "fantasy figures" by the rival group Open Britain.

In this context, Rogers represented a dangerous tendency to try to bridge the divide. For politicians on either side, it will now be that little bit easier to shout past each other rather than seek common ground.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 01:52:46 PM EST
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