Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/3k1nqm

Simon McDonald - British Ambassador to Germany October 2010 – September 2015

5 January 2022


It was the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, and the Germans and the French were going to town. [...] The next bit of conversation was making sure that the German Government wanted the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union if the referendum were to happen. [...] How big a preoccupation was planning for that renegotiation in the Foreign Office, given that the FCO had lost the crown jewel of the UK-EU relationship to a combination of Tom Scholar and Ivan Rogers? SM: They were the key players. [...] One of the most upsetting things for me personally, immediately after I left the Foreign Office, was the Internal Market Bill, and saying on the face of the bill that the United Kingdom would break international agreements. [...] But a lot of it, I think, was associated with the rest of Whitehall quite belatedly, in the British way, understanding that the European Union was really important, not only to the UK in general but to their departments in particular.