The British Civil Service is overwhelmingly anti-Brexit and is actively working against leaving the European Union (EU).
Mark Sedwill is the top-ranking civil servant in the country. He’s also the National Security Adviser as well as the Cabinet Secretary.
Mr Sedwill was Theresa May’s permanent secretary at the Home Office where she was an unsuccessful Home Secretary. Additionally, Mark was once private secretary to disgraced Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Last year, Mark Sedwill took the unprecedented step of writing to the Times newspaper in defence of Olly Robbins, another British civil servant. Mr Robbins is the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and Chief Negotiator for Exiting the European Union.
Cabinet Secretary Sedwill said criticism against Robbins ‘has to stop’.
Project Fear on steroids
At one point, more cabinet ministers seemed to be warming to the idea of a no-deal Brexit. All of a sudden, Mr Sedwill took yet another highly unusual step. He wrote a 14-page letter to all cabinet ministers, warning that a no-deal Brexit would lead to 10 percent price rises in food and direct rule in Northern Ireland. Additionally, he added that the economy would go into recession, the depreciation of the pound would be catastrophic, and the police would find it difficult to maintain law and order.
His letter is ‘Project Fear on steroids’.
Other senior civil servants have praised Sedwill for informing ministers with “the facts about a no-deal Brexit”. However, the 14-page letter sent out by the Cabinet secretary contains opinions about a no-deal Brexit — not facts!
Economists say there is no consensus on how a no-deal Brexit would affect the economy. Many economists say that a no-deal Brexit will decrease – not increase – food prices by 10 percent.
Who’s in charge of Brexit?
It’s highly unusual for a Cabinet Secretary to write directly to ministers. So, it begs the question: Who’s in charge of Brexit?
After the letter was sent, the Prime Minister lost enthusiasm for a no-deal Brexit. Despite stating (over 100 times) in Parliament that “No deal is better than a bad deal”, she now says that she was “speaking in the abstract!”
Gavin Williamson (Defence Secretary)
Following a government investigation — initiated by the Cabinet Secretary Mark Sidwell — into a leak of information from the National Security Council (NSC) to national media outlets, Gavin Williamson (the Defence Secretary) was fired.
Allegedly, Sidwell pointed the finger at Williamson before the investigation had even started.
Furthermore, it appears that Mr Williamson had clashed with Mr Sidwell on several occasions. Their dispute was about the national security capability review.
Mr Williamson denies any wrongdoing and instead claims he was the victim of a “shabby and discredited witch hunt”.
Impartiality of the civil service?
Was the inquiry that led to the sacking of Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary fair and impartial? Many do not think so.
Why is the National Security Adviser (who’s also the Cabinet Secretary) writing to a newspaper? It’s all highly irregular.
Furthermore, why did the Cabinet Secretary (a civil servant) write a 14-page letter to all cabinet ministers informing them of his opinions about a no-deal Brexit? The letter has clearly influenced not only Theresa May but also her cabinet ministers.
A spokesman for Theresa May confirmed that a Cabinet Secretary should be impartial. Clearly, something has gone wrong.
Yes, Prime Minister (BBC)
The 1980s BBC political satirical comedy series Yes, Prime Minister predicted the future! The series followed the ministerial career of Jim Hacker, played by Paul Eddington.
Throughout the series, Jim Hacker was portrayed as a bungling error-prone Prime Minister who was frequently bossed around by the British civil service.
So, who’s now in charge of Brexit? Is it Theresa May (the Prime Minister) or is it the British civil service?