UK should offer EU workers 'preferential system' says Theresa May’s former chief of staff

Ashley Cowburn
Theresa May's former chief of staff (Getty): Getty

Theresa May should consider giving EU citizens who want to work in the UK preferential treatment, according to her former chief of staff Nick Timothy.

Mr Timothy, who resigned from his position as Theresa May’s adviser following the catastrophic election result, also insisted the Government was in a position to agree a good relationship despite “sneers” from “those who wish we weren’t leaving”.

Using his new column in the Sun newspaper he wrote that Britain “should continue to insist on restoring our ability to control European immigration, but we could still establish a preferential system for Europeans who want to work” in the UK.

While he uses the article to say ministers should respect the Brexit process and negotiate with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, Mr Timothy also argues that the Government should realise key decisions are taken in Berlin, rather than Brussels.

But, he adds: “That does not mean betting the house on Angela Merkel’s generosity. She will always take decisions in Germany’s national interest and her own political interest. And she faces a general election in a fortnight.

“We do not know if she will win, or if she does, what her new ruling coalition will look like.

“Berlin does, though, remain Europe’s most important decision maker. In order its priorities are to safeguard the Euro, keep the remaining 27 members together, protect Europe from security threats and improve the EU’s trading links.”

In his column, Mr Timothy claims the Government won’t settle on a financial settlement – often referred to as the “divorce bill” - greater than €60bn

“But even on this difficult issue, Britain has signalled that we will make a reasonable payment if it is linked to a future trade agreement.”