Congratulations to Lord Callanan, who is appointed Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union today. As a former MEP, and former leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, he knows the EU, its institutions and the ins and outs of its workings in great detail – leading Daniel Hannan to welcome his appointment warmly:
Many congratulations to Lord Callanan, new Brexit Minister of State. Can’t think of anyone with better contacts or more detailed knowledge.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) 27 October 2017
Back in 2014, before the referendum, this site made the case that Callanan should be appointed Britain’s EU Commissioner – now that we’re leaving, it makes good sense to deploy his expertise in the service of Brexit. I’m told that his brief will be to take over the responsibilities previously held by Baroness Anelay, primarily the shepherding of the EU Withdrawal Bill through the House of Lords, no small task.
There may be some predictable attempts to portray Anelay’s departure as a political one, reflecting on the department or on the Brexit process in some way, but I gather that she is leaving her ministerial role for health reasons. We at ConservativeHome wish her all the best for the future.