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Fri, 14 August 2020

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EXCL Dominic Raab's new aide called for continued freedom of movement after Brexit

EXCL Dominic Raab's new aide called for continued freedom of movement after Brexit

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Dominic Raab's new aide said freedom of movement should continue after Brexit and blasted her new boss's claim that immigration pushes up house prices, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Stephanie Lis, who has been appointed Mr Raab's special adviser, made her comments in a 2016 video for the Institute of Economic Affairs, where she was director of communications before landing her new job.

She said concerns about immigration which had led to the vote for Brexit were “understandable” because “politicians have done an astonishingly poor job of making the case for free movement”.

“As a result, migrants have found themselves blamed for all sorts of problems - from rocketing house prices to unemployment,” she said.

“But many of these criticisms are based on exaggerations or are just fundamentally wrong.”

Ms Lis added: “Our new report out today calls on the Government to scrap the arbitrary migration target and maintain free movement with the EEA bloc whatever our future relationship with the EU may be.”

And she called on ministers to establish two-way free movement deals with other countries after Brexit, including the US, Australia and Canada.

Just this year Mr Raab said house prices had gone up by 20% over the past quarter of a century due to immigration. The then-housing minster was forced to publish official figures backing up his claims.

Ms Lis told PoliticsHome: “The video was made in a different capacity to my new role, but there are a variety of lines of thought on the issue which all contribute to a healthy discourse.”

But Francis Grove-White, deputy director of the pro-EU group Open Britain, said: "It’s no wonder the Brexit Secretary has appointed a special adviser who disagrees with him.

“It continues a theme of the Government wasting time negotiating with itself over Brexit, rather than with the EU."

He added: “With the Government and Parliament paralysed by indecision, we need a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”

Mr Raab was appointed Brexit Secretary after his predecessor David Davis quit in protest at Theresa May's strategy for quitting the EU..

The minister and the Conservative party have been approached for comment.

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