Brexit news: Mrs May needs to implement a radical overhaul of the Government’s Brexit approach
Nick Timothy – who fell out of favour after the disastrous 2017 General Election – used a newspaper column to make the explosive intervention.
Mr Timothy was the key architect of Mrs May’s catastrophic snap election campaign in June 2017 and argued “the Prime Minister should boldly spell out how leaving the EU will create jobs and put money in our pockets”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “The silence is deafening.
“It is beyond time the Prime Minister explained how the Government will exploit Brexit, and articulate a positive vision for Britain after we leave the EU.”
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The former joint Downing Street Chief of Staff argued Government Ministers “have proved reluctant to talk about our future after March 29 2019”.
In response to his exasperation, he proposed a radical overhaul of the current Brexit strategy.
Mr Timothy suggested the Prime Minster should transform seven strategic locations across northern England into “combined free ports and enterprise zones”.
He said: “The chosen sites would remain within the UK’s sovereign territory but outside its customs rules, exempting firms operating there from certain taxes, rules and regulations, and attracting investment from all around the world.
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Nick Timothy has staged a Brexit intervention calling for an emboldened approach
“This is no wacky proposition.”
The electoral adviser contended his idea was supported by a report by Tory MP and “rising star” Rishi Sunak, which states “there are 3,500 such places in 135 countries, employing 66 million people”.
Of the report, entitled The Free Ports Opportunity, Mr Sunak said: “Upon leaving the EU, Britain will find itself with more opportunities for economic innovation than at any time in almost 50 years.
“As the date of our departure draws closer, it will be the responsibility of Government to ensure Britain is not timid in seizing those opportunities.
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Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were the architects of Mrs May’s disastrous snap election campaign
“Foreign Trade Zones are flourishing all around the world – except in the EU.
“Post-Brexit they could play an important role in signalling Britain’s openness to the world, as well as reconnecting the nation with its proud maritime history.”
Mr Timothy revealed the Treasury disliked free ports, “arguing they would provide lower tax receipts because of their exemptions”.
But according to the political adviser, “exemptions are the attraction” as the UK should be looking for a more emboldened approach and Brexit vision.
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Theresa May spoke at the Nordic Council Sessions 2018 at Stortinget (Parliament) on October 30
The Prime Minister should also reveal a new approach to how the UK disseminates regional development funds to replace “bureaucratic” EU payments, Mr Timothy suggested.
He said: “Unencumbered by EU rules, and working with the devolved governments, metro mayors and local councils, the Government could invest £2.4billion into improving regional productivity, creating jobs and increasing pay.”
Mr Timothy continued to assert Brexit raises the prospect of many more opportunities from increased competitiveness and rebalancing the economy to tackling lawless tech multinationals to slashing the so-called “tampon tax”.
But his concluding remarks offered a stern word of warning to the Prime Minister.
Mrs May has faced a tough few weeks of negotiations with the EU
He said: “There is just one snag. Few of these opportunities will exist if Chequers, or Chequers Minus, forms the basis of our future relationship with Europe.
“If we want Brexit to be a success, we must be bold.
“It is time for Ministers to decide and show us the way, as we leave the EU, towards a better Britain.”