Senior British diplomat in US quits saying she can no longer peddle Brexit ‘half-truths’

Alexandra Hall Hall. Photograph: UK government.

Alexandra Hall Hall. Photograph: UK government. - Credit: Archant

A senior British diplomat in America has reportedly quit saying she could no longer 'peddle half-truths' from British political leaders that she did not 'trust'.

Alexandra Hall Hall - the lead envoy for Brexit in the British Embassy in Washington - had been tasked with explaining Britain's approach to leaving the European Union to US lawmakers and policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

In a letter, seen by CNN, Hall Hall said she had become increasingly dismayed by the demands placed on the civil service to deliver Brexit with claims that are not "fully honest".

While she did not give names, she said that British political leaders were being reluctant to be honest with Brexit, and it was undermining credibility of the UK abroad.

The civil servant said her issue was not with being "for or against Brexit, per se", saying that she wanted to achieve a "positive outcome", but she said that she was frustrated with how policy was being carried out.


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She said her position therefore had become "unbearable personally" and "untenable professionally".

An official the Foreign Office confirmed to CNN that Hall Hall had resigned, but could not verify the remarks reported.

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The former ambassador to Georgia, who has clocked up 33 years service with the civil service, wrote: "I have been increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves; the use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options before us; and some behaviour towards our institutions, which, were it happening in another country, we would almost certainly as diplomats have received instructions to register our concern".

She continued: "It makes our job to promote democracy and the rule of law that much harder, if we are not seen to be upholding these core values at home."

She added: "I am also at a stage in life where I would prefer to do something more rewarding with my time, than peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust".

Hall Hall is expected to leave her job at the embassy next week, and quit the civil service completely.

She is yet to comment on the letter.

The remarks came as the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson of not telling the truth about the impact of his Brexit deal.

Corbyn said that "Johnson's deal will be disastrous for businesses and jobs all across the UK, and the government's confidential report confirms this."

"We have now caught Johnson red-handed misrepresenting his own Brexit deal," he told journalists.

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