FCO chief Sir Simon McDonald on making a success of Brexit and the joke that's stuck with him since childhood
As 2020 approaches, senior figures from across government reflect on their highlights and challenges of 2019, look ahead to the next 12 months and share their favourite festive memories
What was your highlight of 2019?
I’m still waiting for it! (You are asking me weeks before the end of the year.)
What has been the most significant change in your organisation this year?
Preparing for Brexit.
What will be the biggest challenge of 2020 – and how are you preparing to meet it?
Making a success of Brexit.
"I remember one joke in particular (I can’t really understand why)"
Tell us a favourite festive memory from your youth...
As a family – mum, dad, five children – we didn’t watch much television when I was a child. But on Christmas Day, having eaten too much turkey, we settled down together to watch Morecambe and Wise. I remember my parents crying with laughter and the happiness of the day was complete. I remember one joke in particular (I can’t really understand why): Glenda Jackson, guest starring as Cleopatra, asked Eric Morecambe, playing Caesar: “Do you have the scrolls?” And Eric replied, “No, I always walk this way.”
Steven Dick worked as the deputy head of mission in Hungary
Refusing to extend Brexit transition amid coronavirus crisis would be ‘irresponsible’, ex-Foreign Office perm sec says
“The world quite literally has changed and I think you have to adapt,” Simon Fraser says.
Economics professor will lead advisory group as it produces ‘shortage occupation...
Boris Johnson should take 'balanced' approach to immigration as public concern plummets, says think tank
PM urged to ‘bring more light and less heat’ to the immigration debate after Brexit
How can local authorities and government departments ensure that civil servants are able to...
BT takes a look at the shifting nature of cyber threats, and how organisations can detect and...
Microsoft shows a few of the ways that governments can turn data into insight
With the ‘low-hanging fruit’ exhausted, the public sector must approach new government saving...