When senior government people resign from their office, they often use boilerplate language about how they were proud to serve, how they respected their superiors, and only hint that they are leaving because of serious disagreements. This may be due to the human desire to not cause a fuss or the less noble desire to not burn bridges with those in power as they seek new opportunities.
But Alexandra Hall Hall, a 33-year veteran of the British foreign service and a senior British diplomat in the US, said to hell with that, she was going to tell it like it is.
A senior British diplomat in the US has quit with a blast at the UK government over Brexit, saying she could no longer “peddle half-truths” on behalf of political leaders she did not “trust.”
In a searing resignation letter delivered just over a week before the UK general election, Alexandra Hall Hall, the lead envoy for Brexit in the British Embassy in Washington, said that she had become increasingly dismayed by the demands placed on the British civil service to deliver messages on Brexit which were not “fully honest.”
The reluctance of Britain’s leaders to play straight with the public on Brexit, Hall Hall said, had undermined the credibility of UK diplomats abroad. Her position had become “unbearable personally” and “untenable professionally,” she wrote in the letter, which has been obtained by CNN.
“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 wrote in her letter, dated December 3.
Hall Hall said she was resigning now, rather than after the election, so that her decision could not be portrayed as a reaction to the result. She is expected to leave the embassy next week, and is quitting the diplomatic service completely.