BRITAIN’S former EU ambassador has claimed Theresa May ignored his advice to hold off from triggering Brexit talks to “avoid being screwed”.
Giving evidence to MPs, Sir Ivan Rogers – who angrily resigned in January – insisted he was over-ruled by No10 officials.
PA:Press Association Mr Rogers resigned in January of this year
The top civil servant claimed he warned the PM not to start Article 50 exit negotiations until a good talks timetable for the UK had been agreed.
Sir Ivan told the Commons Treasury Committee: “The moment you invoke Article 50, the 27 dictate the rules of the game in the way that most suits them.
“My advice as a European negotiator was if you wanted to avoid being screwed, say ‘I will invoke Article 50 but only under circumstances where I know exactly how it is going to operate.”
He claimed he had been “heavily opposed” by “various people in London”.
Getty Images – Getty It has been suggested that Mrs May did not take the advice of her former colleague
Instead, the other 27 leaders are now refusing to move on to trade talks in order to “squeeze as hard as possible” to hike the size of the UK’s divorce bill, Sir Ivan added.
Turning the screw on the PM and her senior staff, the former mandarin insisted: “Anybody could have told you that is exactly what the 27 would do”.
Sir Ivan also claimed Mrs May will fail to secure the bespoke Brexit trade deal that she has promised.
He added: “We cannot expect simple continuity whether it’s in energy or telecoms or financial services.
“The British can’t simply expect the world to carry on broadly as is.”