Sir Tim Barrow's appointment as the new UK ambassador to the EU has had a generally positive response from politicians across the spectrum — though some felt Prime Minister Theresa May had erred by not appointing a more committed Brexiteer. Sir Tim, 52, was appointed within a day of the shock resignation of previous ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers.
In a statement, Sir Tim said: "I am honoured to be appointed as the UK's Permanent Representative to the EU at this crucial time. I look forward to joining the strong leadership team at the Department for Exiting the EU and working with them and the talented staff at UKRep to ensure we get the right outcome for the United Kingdom as we leave the EU."
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson welcomed the former ambassador to Russia's appointment, saying: "He is just the man to get the best deal for the UK and will lead UKRep with the same skill and leadership he has shown throughout his career. I wish him all the best."
Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Keir Starmer, said:"I welcome the appointment of Sir Tim Barrow as the UK's new Permanent Representative to the EU. It is of course vital that there should be no vacuum in such an important role and that the new Permanent Representative should be someone with a strong and distinguished record of service as a diplomat."
However, Starmer said it was unacceptable that the government still lacked a Brexit plan or a "proper and effective" negotiating team. "That is why Labour have called for David Davis to make a statement to parliament on Monday on the state of the Government's preparations for Brexit."
Eurosceptic Nadine Dorries gave Barrow the benefit of the doubt, posting on Twitter: "Barrow may have been a remainer, but he's such a professional civil servant, no one will ever really know. Very welcome appointment."
Fellow Brexiter and Ukip MP Douglas Carswell told MailOnline: "I'm not going to criticise May at all - provided she triggers Article 50 by the end of March, she can appoint an Elvis impersonator as head honcho in Brussels for all I care."
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "Good to see that the government have replaced a knighted career diplomat with ... a knighted career diplomat.
Sir Tim's appointment comes after the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers sent shockwaves through Westminster. In a leaving email to staff Sir Ivan voiced frustration at the government's lack of progress as Article 50 looms. "I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power," he wrote.