Theresa May is making David Davis' job much harder with her tough Brexit stance, says former government aide

Oliver Gill
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Government Minister's Attend Weekly Cabinet Meeting
David Davis wants to replace the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with new international body to settle disputes between the UK and the EU (Source: Getty)

The job of Brexit minister David Davis is being undermined Prime Minister Theresa May's lack of "flexibility", his former chief of staff has claimed.

James Chapman, who served as an aide to both Davis and former chancellor George Osborne, told the BBC May's tough stance on a number of Brexit issues meant Davis was being "hamstrung".

One of the issues is May's insistence that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has no jurisdiction in the UK after Britain leaves the EU.

Read more: UK to keep listening to ECJ post-Brexit, says Supreme Court president

However, the EU wants the ECJ to continue to offer protection to UK citizens and uphold the rules of the single market. Meanwhile, Davis wants to replace the ECJ influence with new international body to settle disputes between the UK and the EU.

In an interview to be broadcast later this morning, Chapman will say: "She's set a red line effectively for a conference speech that hamstrung these negotiations in my view.

"There have been red lines that have been set for him that make the job he has to do very difficult."

And if May's Brexit deal may struggle to get the backing from MPs, said Chapman, who now works for PR firm Bell Pottinger. He said:

If she doesn't, in my point of view, show more flexibility, show more pragmatism than she did demonstrate in the Home Office, she won't get this stuff through parliament.

Read more: May's government is what happens when a control freak loses control

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