At the office I button-hole the Permanent Secretary.
“I think it is the Department’s responsibility to keep the technology community aware of how negotiations proceed with the Continentals,” I tell him.
“It is unlikely that we will be privy to any of the details of those negotiations, Secretary of State,” responds the PS, “those will be known only to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Secretary of State.”
“Indeed, but the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union will have to report something of what is happening at Cabinet Meetings and we can give an early heads-up to those who may be affected by them.”
“Cabinet discussions are a State Secret, Secretary of State,” said the PS.
“I know that,” I tell the Pas, “it’s up to you to get clearance from No.10 about what we can release to interested parties. It is important that those affected get early notice of developments if we are to make a success of Brexit. We all want that don’t we?” I injected a hint of menace.
“Of course we all do, Secretary of State, but . . . . .”
“No buts,” I tell him , “I want regular, fully cleared, ongoing statements of what we can say to brief key parties as negotiations proceed.”
“Yes,” Secretary of State,” says a chastened PS.
I don’t suppose these briefings will be worth a fig but I know a lot of people will give their eye-teeth to receive them, and they will find suitable ways to show their gratitude to an underpaid public servant.