In the face of staunch calls for Theresa May to appoint a wholehearted Brexiter to negotiate Britain's departure from the European Union, the prime minster appointed former Russian envoy and civil servant Sir Tim Barrow, a career diplomat, to replace Sir Ivan Rogers as the UK's ambassador to the European Union.

No clear strategy

Sir Ivan Rogers, who resigned on Tuesday morning, made it clear upon his departure that Theresa May and her government lacked not only a clear Brexit strategy, but a coherent negotiating team also. May is scheduled to trigger article 50 to formally begin Britain's EU exit in March.

Subsequently, it was incumbent on May to act fast and appoint someone with the requisite experience to help guide Britain out of the European Union.

Barrow, who held the position as Britain's ambassador to Moscow between 2015 and 2016, has extensive European experience. Barrow's CV includes experience in security and foreign policy in Brussels but is bereft of the nuanced subjects that will come into play during Brexit negotiations. Upon news breaking of this appointment, Sir Tim Barrow said: "I'm truly honoured to be appointed as the United Kingdom's permanent representative to the European Union at this crucial juncture in British history. I look forward to joining the strong leadership team at the Department for Exiting the EU and ensuring that Britain gets the best Brexit possible".

A diplomatic veteran

A Whitehall spokesperson described Barrow as a "seasoned and tough negotiator with experience of securing Britain's objectives in the European parliament". The spokesperson continued, suggesting Barrow will bring exuberance and creativity to the role". However, an anonymous EU source told the Guardian that such a fast appointment indicated that Britain was "extremely anxious", arguing that Theresa May has acted "rather hastily in appointing a new ambassador to the European Union".

Theresa May's appointment of Barrow is a vote of confidence in the impartiality of the civil service. Yesterday, Nigel Farage, a prominent member of the Leave campaign, demanded a pro-Brexit ambassador to the European Union, citing that the Foreign office was compiled of Europhiles.