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Baroness Anelay’s resignation letter and Prime Minister’s response

Letter from Baroness Anelay to Prime Minister Theresa May announcing her resignation, and the Prime Minister’s reply.

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Letter from Baroness Anelay to the Prime Minister

Baroness Anelay wrote:

Dear Prime Minister,

It is with regret that I write to confirm formally my resignation as Minister of State for Exiting the European Union. After 20 years on the Front Bench, including four years as Government Chief Whip, and three years as a Minister at the FCO and DExEU, it is a great disappointment that a worsening of an injury sustained in 2015 has forced my decision. I am most grateful to you for your acceptance and understanding.

I am immensely proud of what the Government has achieved while I have been a part of it, and am grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve. I will continue to support you and your Government as strongly from the backbenches as I have while serving on the Front Bench.

As you are aware I voted remain in the referendum, but having taken the EU Referendum Act through Parliament, I believe that we have a duty to act on the instructions of the electorate. When you asked me to become Minister of State at DExEU in June this year it was therefore an offer I accepted without hesitation.

It has been a privilege to work with, and see first-hand the dedication and commitment of David Davis, Robin Walker, Steve Baker and the team of talented and professional Civil Servants working in support of our negotiations. The analysis and engagement that has taken place since the Department was created has driven the progress in the negotiations to date. I leave the Department certain that the negotiations surrounding our exit, and our future relationship with the EU, will be successful.

Alongside my duties in the House of Lords, where the quality of debate has shown the House at its very best, it has been an honour to represent the Government at the General Affairs Council of the European Union.

During the last three meetings of the General Affairs Council our participation has demonstrated that until we have left, we will continue to play a role in representing the interests of the people of the United Kingdom and continue to contribute to, and shape, the EU agenda. I have spoken in support of the importance of protection for journalists and quality journalism in safeguarding media pluralism; to highlight the UK’s on-going commitment to European security; and to advocate for open and free trade. These are all issues which reflect the fact that whilst we may be leaving the EU, we retain shared values, and we wish to remain the closest possible neighbours and friends.

Yours, as ever

Joyce

Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE

Letter from the Prime Minister to Baroness Anelay

The Prime Minister wrote:

Dear Joyce,

Thank you for your letter informing me of your decision to resign from the Government. I am very sorry that your circumstances have forced you to take this decision, which I fully understand. I am disappointed that we will no longer have the benefit of your wisdom and experience in Government, but I know that you will continue to contribute to proceedings in the House of Lords.

You should be extremely proud of your 20 years of service to our party and our country as a member of the Conservative front bench team in the House of Lords.

You have served the Government with distinction since 2010, as our Chief Whip in the House of Lords for four years, and as a Minister of State in several departments since 2014. I am particularly grateful for your work in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union since I became Prime Minister in July 2016.

As you say in your letter, we have a very strong team of Ministers and officials in the Department for Exiting the European Union. Thanks to your work as part of that team, you leave the Department in a strong position as we continue our negotiations with the European Union and work to secure the right deal for the whole of the United Kingdom.

Thank you again for your service, and I wish you all the best for the future.

With best wishes

Theresa

Published 27 October 2017