The process for the U.K. to leave the European Union (EU) is due to begin in March, but as the deadline approaches it is less clear how the negotiations will unfold.
However, the path towards Brexit became a lot less clear Tuesday with the U.K. ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers, resigning, fuelling concerns that the U.K. government is not ready to quit Europe.
In its resignation letter, Rogers warned that the U.K. lacked negotiating expertise when compared to EU officials and asked for a quick appointment of the British negotiating team.
"Serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall, and that is not the case in the Commission or in the Council," the former ambassador wrote.
"Senior ministers, who will decide on our positions, issue by issue, also need from you detailed, unvarnished - even where this is uncomfortable - and nuanced understanding of the views, interests and incentives of the other 27," Sir Ivan Rogers added.
Downing Street said in a statement on Tuesday that "Sir Ivan has taken this decision now to enable a successor to be appointed before the UK invokes Article 50 by the end of March." However, the former ambassador – considered one of the most experience U.K. officials, has reportedly had conflicting views with the national government.
Last December, Sir Ivan Rogers warned the U.K. government that it could take up to 10 years to conclude a trade deal with the EU, the BBC reported. At the time, he also mentioned that even after a trade deal is finalized, national parliaments across the EU could reject the agreement.
"It seems the U.K. ambassador to EU left over government reluctance to hear what EU really think about Brexit," Robin Bew, managing director at the Economist Intelligence Unit said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Rogers apologized for fuelling Brexit uncertainty and recognized that the ongoing political concerns go beyond the U.K.'s objectives for Brexit.