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A government takes civil servants for granted at its peril

Mandarins in Whitehall have handled Brexit with great professionalism 

By Claire Foster-Gilbert  

Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Shock froze the atmosphere in Whitehall on Friday 24th June, 2016. The stately Portland stone buildings of the Treasury and the Foreign Office, and the more modern office blocks nearby, held within their corridors a silent, necessarily private grief.

The smallest percentage of civil servants will have voted to leave the European Union the day before. But by the following Monday morning, sleeves had been rolled up and the task of managing the departure had begun. As politicians scuttled in and out of Number 10,…

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