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Sir Alan Duncan instrumental in Argentina/UK reconciliation resigned ahead of Johnson's nomination

Tuesday, July 23rd 2019 - 15:41 UTC
Full article 6 comments
The resignation of Alan Duncan underlines the strong feeling in the governing Conservative Party and parliament against a no-deal Brexit The resignation of Alan Duncan underlines the strong feeling in the governing Conservative Party and parliament against a no-deal Brexit
Sir Alan Duncan was directly involved in the normalization of constructive relations between Argentina and the UK, and Falklands, with a 2016 communiqué Sir Alan Duncan was directly involved in the normalization of constructive relations between Argentina and the UK, and Falklands, with a 2016 communiqué
Sir Alan Duncan has shown no reticence in criticising Johnson, his former boss at the foreign office, once describing him as a “circus act”. Sir Alan Duncan has shown no reticence in criticising Johnson, his former boss at the foreign office, once describing him as a “circus act”.
Sir Alan in Argentina with then foreign minister Susana Malcorra Sir Alan in Argentina with then foreign minister Susana Malcorra

British minister and longstanding critic of Boris Johnson quit on Monday, the latest resignation before the new prime minister takes office with a “do or die” pledge to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal.

 The resignation of Alan Duncan, a junior foreign office minister, underlines the strength of feeling in the governing Conservative Party and parliament against a no-deal Brexit which many businesses say would be catastrophic for the economy.

Sir Alan Duncan was directly involved in the normalization of constructive relations between Argentina and the UK, with a 2016 communiqué including a chapter on the South Atlantic dispute over the Falkland Islands.

Sir Duncan follows Margot James, who stepped down as culture minister last week, describing as “quite incredible” Johnson's promise to leave the EU by Oct 31 regardless of whether a deal was in place to smooth the process. Business organizations that are traditional allies of the Conservative Party have repeatedly warned against such a scenario.

In his resignation letter, Duncan said: “The UK does so much good in the world. It is tragic that just when we could have been the dominant intellectual and political force throughout Europe, and beyond, we have had to spend every day working beneath the dark cloud of Brexit.”

He pointedly noted that he had worked with “two very different foreign secretaries” - Johnson and his rival to become prime minister, Jeremy Hunt.

His decision to step down comes as little surprise. Duncan has shown no reticence in criticising Johnson, his former boss at the foreign office, once describing him as a “circus act”.

Earlier this month, he attacked Johnson for not defending Britain's former ambassador to the United States after a leak of his criticism of US President Donald Trump's administration. Duncan said Johnson had “basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus”.

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  • Mike Summers

    At least one of our MLA's proposed flights to Sao Paolo years before Duncan entered the Foreign Office; nothing weak in that. It is very clearly the most logical and effective way to connect the Falklands with the rest of the world. Looking forward to an ever more successful Falkland Islands.

    Jul 26th, 2019 - 12:46 pm +1
  • Roger Lorton

    There are no doubts although if there were, it would be the FCO that had them. Better is was divided again to an FO and CO. There aint no trusting the FO over the Falklands - as time has shown.

    Jul 23rd, 2019 - 11:48 pm 0
  • Islander1

    Correct Roger. The Falklands are well rid of this nasty bit of twofaces - he who wangled with Argentina the re-wording of the 1999 Flights Agreement to render it economically impractical for a 2nd direct flight from Santiago and made Sao Paulo the only start point AND Cordoba or Buenos Aires as the only possible monthly stop airports- and then our MLs weakly accepted it.

    Jul 24th, 2019 - 11:19 am 0
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