Sir Ivan Rogers has announced his resignation entirely from the civil service – just four days quitting as the UK's ambassador to Brussels.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed his departure on Saturday, 7 January and said he would be paid three month's salary in lieu of his notice period and had not sought a payoff, despite reports.
A spokesman said: "Sir Ivan Rogers resigned as UK permanent representative to Brussels on 3 January. He did not seek any further civil service appointment and has therefore resigned from the civil service with immediate effect. We are grateful for Sir Ivan's work in Brussels and across a number of other senior positions in the civil service."
Government sources claimed he went before he was pushed because Theresa May had "lost confidence" in him over his "pessimistic" view of Brexit.
The former Permanent Representative to the EU, announced his shock exit on Tuesday, 3 January, when he attacked Whitehall for having a lack of "serious multilateral negotiating experience". Critics later slammed his 'indiscretion' at speaking out over Brexit when the job of an impartial and permanent mandarinate was to "serve ministers, not steer them".
In The Telegraph's opinion column, it reported: "Ivan may consider that the country made a mistake in the referendum and he is entitled to that opinion. But it is not his place to make that impression public in the way that he did."
In his scathing resignation letter, Rogers wrote: "The structure of the UK's negotiating team and the allocation of roles and responsibilities to support that team, needs rapid resolution. The working methods which enable the team in London and Brussels to function seamlessly need also to be strengthened."
Rogers scaled the upper echelons of the Brussels bureaucracy for nearly two decades and was awarded a knighthood for his services last year. He also acted as European adviser to David Cameron in 2012.
Sir Ivan Rogers spent almost his entire career as a diplomat where he joined the civil service fast stream and was seconded to the Treasury. He then became private secretary to Ken Clarke, who was then chancellor of the exchequer, before being promoted to Leon Brittain's chief-of-staff when he moved to Brussels to become a European commissioner. Rogers was appointed the UK's Permanent Representative to the EU in 2013.
In his resignation email, Rogers said: "Leaving UKREP would be a tremendous wrench. I have had the great good fortune, and the immense privilege, in my civil service career, to have held some really interesting and challenging roles: to have served four successive UK prime ministers very closely; to have been EU, G20 and G8 Sherpa; to have chaired a G8 Presidency and to have taken part in some of the most fraught, and fascinating, EU negotiations of the last 25 years – in areas from tax, to the MFF to the renegotiation.
"Of all of these posts, I have enjoyed being the Permanent Representative more than any other I have ever held."
A lost expert
While many in the political establishment mourned his departure as a loss to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, many welcomed his resignation as an opportunity to recruit a keen Brexiteer.
Sir Simon Fraser, the former head of the Diplomatic Service who worked with Rogers warned that Britain was losing one of its biggest experts on Europe. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He is a highly intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced official and one of the greatest experts, if I can use the expert word, that we have on European matters in the British Civil Service."
Last month, Rogers was criticised for warning that it might take up to 10 years for the UK to fully break from the EU. Downing Street said at the time that Rogers had been conveying the views of some European leaders rather than his own assessment.
Former welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith said Rogers was no longer trusted and had to go after his resignation earlier in the week. He told Sky News that Rogers was "not God almighty", adding: "Whatever their opinion, the job of the civil servant is to deliver on the will of the British people."