Overwhelming Anti-Brexit Bias of Former Top Civil Servants

Anti-Brexit bias runs like a spinal cord through the bloated body of civil servants and ex-mandarins that make up Whitehall. This group of metropolitan remainers – whose fat pensions are funded by the taxpayer – are an influence network which has been regularly accused of trying to hamper Brexit. Many of them have seats in the House of Lords. Last night every living former Cabinet Secretary voted against the government on the customs union. A Guido probe reveals the extent to which former top civil servants share anti-Brexit views…

Let’s start with Lord David Hannay, formerly Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community. He tarred all Leave voters with the same brush, calling them “feckless” during a Parliamentary debate last year. That’s 17,410,742 voters dismissed…

Lord Robin Butler – Cabinet Secretary for a decade under Thatcher, Major and Blair, loudly and publicly opposes Brexit. He claims leaving the EU:

“Strikes a dagger to my soul… The United Kingdom being motivated by an illusory quest for independence, in a world which becomes more interdependent day by day, is a painful prospect.”

Sir John Kerr – former Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office (a particular hotbed of remain sentiment) – wants Article 50 reversed and believes the UK should accept a subordinate position to the EU:

“At any stage we can change our minds if we want to… we can remember that an Article 50 notification can always be withdrawn… in the end, we will basically come to heel.”

Lord Sir Nick MacPherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury for more than a decade, suggested stopping Article 50, even if it demands a change of government:

“Lord Kerr drafted Art. 50 and entirely right that Brexit can be halted at any time. Odds are against but all governments’ lives are finite.”

Lord Ricketts, former Permanent Under Secretary of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, denied that the EU intends to create its own army despite evidence to the contrary:

“I think we can be completely relaxed about the prospect of a European army; it is never going to happen.”

Former Head of the Civil Service Lord Kerslake – often deployed by Corbynistas as a policy ally – says there is “no upside” to Brexit:

“The challenge here, and I’ll be very direct about this – from my perspective there is no upside [to Brexit]. This is about damage limitation. And we’re working in a situation where policy has not been properly settled.”

Sir Martin Donnelly – Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade until last year, prefers a food analogy. He compared leaving the Customs Union to sign trade deals with other countries to:

“Giving up a three-course meal now in favour of the promise of a packet of crisps”

And let’s not forget Lord Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary from 2005-2015, who publicly campaigned for ‘remain’. Faced with the legacy of this gang of Brussels-loving Sir Humprheys, no wonder Brexiteers think Whitehall is working against them…

Ultra-Remainers Claiming End State Victory

Wishful thinking from the Treasury’s ultra-Remain former Perm Sec? Or is he onto something?

We have seen briefings before from the Treasury that May is going to end up closer to Hammond’s vision of the end state than Boris’ and Gove’s, so it’s worth taking this with a pinch of salt. But the Remainers’ optimism explains the increasing concerns of Cabinet Brexiters that we are not going to pursue a Brexit that makes the most of leaving…

Hammond and Treasury “On Manoeuvres” Against Brexit

A timely intervention from Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy, who fingers Philip Hammond for being “on manoeuvres” against Brexit. Timothy says May “deserves the support of her ministers, Leavers and Remainers alike” – the implication being that the likes of Hammond and Rudd are undermining the PM on Brexit. He accuses Hammond of playing “games” and says “the Treasury’s reluctance to even mention the positives of leaving the EU, such as the Brexit dividend, is why the government has not talked positively enough about the opportunities of Brexit. In that respect, the Foreign Secretary was right in his Daily Telegraph column last Saturday”. As Guido reported on Monday, Hammond and the Treasury have been pushing for a soft EEA-light Brexit, contrary to government policy…

For an idea of just how much the Treasury hates Brexit, here is former HMT permanent secretary Nick Macpherson responding to Timothy’s article:

The man who ran the Treasury until last year implying Brexit is an “overwhelming wickedness” and some terrible example of human nature that needs to be “curtailed“. This is the sort of pompous, anti-democratic civil service intransigence May is still having to deal with. Mandarins and Remainer Cabinet ministers are working against government policy and the referendum result…

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