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Civil Service boss calls for ‘calm and commitment’ to carry out Brexit task

The cabinet secretary has written to civil servants telling them “the task falls to us” to deliver a deal for the UK to leave the EU following last Thursday’s referendum.

The 52% vote in favour of leaving has sent shockwaves through the political establishment, with David Cameron standing down as prime minister, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn facing mass shadow cabinet resignations, and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon saying the result is grounds for a second independence referendum.

In his letter following Friday’s result, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of the Civil Service, said: “Our duty as civil servants is clear. As the PM has said, ‘the will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered’.

“The task falls to us to support the government, and the new prime minister when appointed, in carrying forward the clear decision of the British people to leave the European Union and set a new direction for the country.

“I am confident that we will do this with our customary calm, integrity and commitment. And we will do so while ensuring other business continues as usual, serving the public with professionalism and pride.”

Dave Penman, general secretary of the Civil Service union the FDA, also confirmed that the Civil Service will continue to do its best to deliver stable leadership, saying: “At this time of political uncertainty, the people of the UK are already understanding the value of a permanent and politically neutral civil service.

“From contingency plans to deal with the inevitable economic turmoil, to shepherding government through a change of leadership and political directional more fundamental than most general elections, the Civil Service will ensure that the functions of government continue to serve our country and deliver our vital public services.”

He called for the new prime minister to “ensure that they provide the Civil Service with the resources and expertise necessary” to support negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU.

It is not yet known when the UK will trigger Article 50, the clause in the Lisbon Treaty that will begin the two year process of leaving the EU.

(Image c. Stefan Rousseau from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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Elizabeth Smith   27/06/2016 at 23:31

At last someone is talking some sense. The country is in turmoil and up to now no Political Leader has made a public call for calm, common sense and a commitment to just get on with life. The insults and aggression which has been shown to the majority voters is disgraceful and undemocratic. Thank you Sir Jeremy Heywood for giving us an assurance of a calm and continued excellent service form our Civil servants. it is much appreciated.

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