Sir Ivan's terribles need to quit their doomsaying, moaning and bellyaching – it's time to deliver on Brexit

THE vast majority of Sun ­readers and the British ­people wouldn’t have heard of Sir Ivan Rogers before last week.

He is the senior UK representative at the EU, and his ­resignation caused Westminster to go into meltdown, particularly when they got hold of his “leaked” farewell email to his staff.

Immediately, the hardcore Remoaners were out in force prophesising doom and gloom and telling us all this was a terrible disaster for the British Government.

If you hadn’t realised last week that this had become just another excuse for the elite Remoaners to indulge in another re-run of Project Fear, the sight of Jonathan Powell, (one time senior adviser to Tony Blair) and Peter Mandelson attacking Theresa May for Rogers’s resignation was enough to make you choke on your cornflakes.

Talk about hypocrisy.

After all, weren’t they the ones who along with Tony Blair gave away swathes of British powers to Brussels and billions of pounds of British ­taxpayer’s money to the EU by ­handing back much of the British rebate, hard won by Mrs Thatcher.

Even now Blair and his cronies want to reverse the result of the ­referendum.

The argument that Ivan Rogers was irreplaceable and that the Government simply wouldn’t be able to succeed in the Brexit negotiations without him and his much-vaunted experience ­simply doesn’t stand up.

For while there is no doubt that Sir Ivan had experience of the EU, the swift appointment of his replacement shows there are plenty of civil ­servants who have great experience of the EU as well and the skills to match.

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That is why experience alone is by no means the crucial issue.

The most important requirements for ministers are a determination to deliver on the British people’s decision to leave the EU and the skill to find the best way to do this for the ­Government.

In these latter two, Sir Ivan Rogers appears to have lost the confidence of Government ministers.

For as one senior minister said to me last week: “I was surprised he was still in post.

"After all, he was a key part of the team that failed to deliver a successful EU renegotiation for David Cameron before the referendum — a failure that inflicted enormous damage on Cameron’s case to remain in the EU and which many believe led to the British people’s decision to leave the EU.”

Any reasonable person will ­understand that as we are about to negotiate the departure of the UK from the EU, surely now is the time to ensure we have a team in place which ministers can place their trust in.

While robust debate between ­ministers and civil servants should be encouraged, once the minister decides, civil servants are meant to find a way to deliver.

The hand of the Treasury can be seen in all this, and by that I don’t mean ministers, I mean officials.

There is a strong suspicion to all but a few in Whitehall that the unspoken yet internal culture of the Treasury seems to have been to fight a rearguard action over Brexit.

After all, it was the Treasury which produced the damning forecast that the UK would be plunged into a recession immediately if we voted to leave the EU.

So certain were they that they went even further and said every family would be £4,300 per year worse off.

Yet last week, Dr Graham Gudgin, research associate at the Centre For Business Research at the University of Cambridge and part-time senior ­economic adviser with Oxford ­Economics, published a report that criticised their flawed methodology that forecast such an extreme and frightening outcome.

How ironic that in a week when the Government was attacked by die-hard Remoaners for interfering in the civil service, an independent economic ­centre shows how Treasury officials could have been pressured to fall into line with an institutional belief that the UK should remain in the EU.

Most of all, perhaps, the departure of Sir Ivan Rogers demonstrates the challenge awaiting the Civil Service.

Seeped into heart and soul of our institutions

For 40 years every aspect of the Civil Service has been locked to the ever-growing power of the EU.

It has been a one-way process as civil servants have become responsible in so many areas for implementing the regulations and laws flowing from Brussels like a river.

The EU has seeped into the heart and soul of all our institutions — from Parliament to our courts, you can feel the long arm of the EU, and in this the Civil Service is no exception.

Change is coming to all our ­institutions, and to those like Sir Ivan who say that their job is to “challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking,” I remind them that the British people voted to leave the EU and they expect that their Civil ­Service delivers what Theresa May set out when she said we were to take back control of our borders, our laws and trade deals beyond the EU.

No more excuses, moaning or ­bellyaching — now it’s time to deliver.

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