Nick Timothy accuses top EU aide of leaking ‘private conversations’ in bid to damage Britain
The chief of staff to Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is a “hardliner” who spends much of the Brexit negotiations briefing against Britain to German newspapers, according to Nick Timothy.
The former aide to Theresa May accused Martin Selmayr of attempting to “punish Britain” and “damage” its economy.
The comments, written in a column for The Sun, come after the EU aide described Brexit as a "stupid decision" and said the British people could still choose to reverse it.
Mr Timothy - who quit Downing Street along with fellow joint chief of staff Fiona Hill after the general election - also called for his former boss to consider giving preferential treatment to EU citizens who want to work in the UK.
The former No 10 adviser said Britain is in a “good position” to negotiate Brexit and the Government should offer a “generous new offer” on intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism co-operation.
He also suggested Britain should pay a “reasonable” exit bill, if the charge helps to secure an “ambitious trade agreement”.
However Mr Timothy noted “of course” the UK will not pay €60bn or €100bn, “as demanded by Brussels”.
He wrote: “Germany dominates the EU but it must still listen to other member states and its own business leaders, who make billions exporting goods to Britain.
“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.
“Brexit must do nothing to jeopardise those aims, and Britain should help Germany to achieve them.”
He added: “We 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 Britain.”
The former aide also wrote: “With Brexit, it is in the interests of the other member states to strike a deal, and it is in the interests of governments and businesses from all around the world.
“All the big EU players — Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk — know this is true. Of course, there are hardliners in Brussels, Paris and Berlin who want to punish Britain and damage our economy.
“Juncker’s chief adviser, Martin Selmayr, is one of them.
“He spends much of the negotiations leaking details of private conversations and briefing against Britain to German newspapers."