A senior British diplomat in Washington has resigned, saying she did not want to “peddle half-truths” over Brexit for a government she did not trust, CNN reported yesterday.
Britons head to the polls on Dec 12 for an election which will decide the fate of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have said they will deliver Brexit by the end of January, while the opposition Labour Party, who are trailing in the polls, plans to renegotiate the exit deal and put it to another referendum.
Citing a copy of her resignation letter, dated Dec 3, CNN reported Alexandra Hall Hall, who had been Brexit Counsellor in the British embassy in Washington since 2018, said her position had become “unbearable personally, and untenable professionally”.
“I have been increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves,” she wrote.
“It makes our job to promote democracy and the rule of law that much harder, if we are not seen to be upholding these core values at home.”
A former British ambassador to Georgia who had worked for the foreign office for 33 years, Hall Hall said her decision to quit had nothing to do with being “for or against Brexit, per se”.
“I am also at a stage in life where I would prefer to do something more rewarding with my time, than peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust,” she wrote.
Earlier, Britain’s opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of misleading the public unveiling a leaked government document which showed the damaging impact of PM’s Brexit deal on Northern Ireland’s economy.
Johnson has repeatedly said there would be no customs checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain under the divorce deal which he agreed with the European Union.
But the document, marked “official, sensitive”, says exporters would have to make customs declarations when moving goods between Northern Ireland and Britain and these new barriers will be “highly disruptive” to Northern Ireland’s economy.
The leaked analysis warns that 98% of Northern Irish exporters to Britain are small to medium sized businesses, which are “likely to struggle to bear” the cost of new border checks.