Top Brexit official Oliver Robbins, who has now legally changed his name to Olivier Rauban, has surprised the placid world of Whitehall by resigning his post and moving to Paris with his extended family.
Mr Rauban has refused to explain his sudden departure but is believed to have already put in an application for French citizenship.
Journalists have also discovered that his West London house has been put on the market, specifying that only bidders who can pay in euros will be accepted.
Simon Williams, spokesman for the Department for Brexit denied the resignation indicated a loss of confidence in the Brexit process.
“Oliver’s departure is an anodyne event that will not stop us getting the best deal for the country.
“It’s quite normal for a top civil servant to quit his job, move overnight to France, buy a flower shop near Montmartre and refuse to speak English.
“The Remainer press needs to get behind the will of the people and stop making hay out of a simple staffing matter and some emotional voice-mails telling friends and family to sell everything and buy any real estate on the continent, however crappy, to lock in residence before it’s too late.”
Despite the facade of business-as-usual, the loss of Mr Rauban will add to the woes of the embattled department.
Particularly after rumours surfaced of planning committee members getting their grandmothers to sign affidavits that their biological grandfather was a roguish Irish navvy called Sean O’Reilly.