A FORMER UK ambassador to the EU will be will be coming to the region to meet business and community leaders to provide an insight into Brexit.

One of the UK’s most senior civil servants, Sir Ivan Rogers will outline his thoughts on No Deal vs Remain at a series of speaking engagements in Sunderland, Newcastle, Teesside and Durham.

Sir Ivan was the UK Ambassador to the EU from 2013 to 2017 and before this, had been the Prime Minister’s adviser for Europe and Global Issues and the Head of the European and Global issues Secretariat, based in at Number 10 Downing Street.

He resigned his post, following the leaking of a confidential memo in which he offered the privately held view that a settlement between the UK and the European Union might not be reached for more than a decade.

Sir Ivan will speak about his own experience, but his primary goal is to cast some light on the prevailing situation and offer thoughts on where the country goes from here.

The one-day event series takes place on September 24, when Sir Ivan will speak at Sunderland, Newcastle, Teesside and Durham Universities, as well as Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway.

The engagements have been organised and will be chaired by Richard Swart, honorary vice president, North East England Chamber of Commerce, and managing director of County Durham-based Berger Group (Europe).

Mr Swart said: “It will be fantastic to hear first-hand from a man who found himself on the Brexit frontline in the aftermath of the 2016 referendum.

"These events are geared towards reaching out to all sides of the Brexit debate.

“The public, regardless of its views, can hear directly from one of the country’s leading experts on the UK’s relationship with the EU and our global positioning, free of political sound-bites from either side.

“Our nation needs to heal, and a key part of this process is to assist us all in separating fact from fiction to ensure informed choices in the future."

He added: “Sir Ivan will provide invaluable insight into not only how Brexit has unfolded, but why a no deal Brexit must be avoided at all costs.”