Anger at £20,000 bonus for top Brexit mandarin signed off by Theresa May

Posted On: 
19th July 2018

A row has broken out after it emerged Theresa May signed off on a £20,000 bonus for the civil servant who is now her top Brexit adviser.

Olly Robbins (left) with former Brexit Secretary David Davis.
PA Images

Olly Robbins received the pay-out on top of his salary of around £160,000 last year, when he was still Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU.

Critics said that the bonus was wrong, given that preparations are now being ramped up in Brussels and London for a no deal Brexit.

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A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed the Prime Minister had signed off the performance-related payment, but insisted it followed a "robust process" carried out by an independent committee.

But Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, a leading Brexiteer, told PoliticsHome: "Given the complete capitulation of the UK's negotiating position overseen by Olly Robbins, I think it should be the EU paying his bonus, not the UK taxpayer."

John Longworth, co-chair of Leave Means Leave said: "It is quite astonishing that the Government is rewarding someone for stalling Brexit and obstructing the result of the democratic EU referendum.

"What a complete waste of taxpayers’ money – there is absolutely no justification for it."

Meanwhile, new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has said he wants to inject new "vim" into the negotiations following talks with Michel Barnier.

Speaking in Brussels, he said: "There are still gaps that we need to fill but we've taken stock and we've made a lot of progress.

"It is also vital that we not make progress on the establishment of a framework for our future partnership. I've come out today to discuss the detailed proposals that we've got in our white paper and I'm looking forward to, with renewed energy, vigour and vim, looking at the detail of all of this.

"The clock is ticking and so I'm looking forward to intensifying, heating up the negotiations and making sure we're in the best position to get the best deal."