Monday 2 September 2019 12:10 pm

Sajid Javid appoints EY Brexit guru Mats Persson as chief of staff

EY’s Brexit strategy leader has left the accountants to serve in Downing Street as Sajid Javid’s new chief of staff, City A.M. understands.

Mats Persson, who was once David Cameron’s main adviser on EU affairs, left the Big Four accountancy firm last week, EY has confirmed.

Read more: Boris threatens rebel MPs with the sack over looming Brexit vote

City A.M. has approached the Treasury for comment.

The Swede will head up Javid’s office days after the Treasury chancellor reportedly became embroiled in a row with Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the abrupt sacking of one of his advisers.

Police escorted Sonia Khan from 11 Downing Street last week after a meeting with Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings concerning leaks, it was reported.

The meeting apparently concerned an investigation into leaks of documents concerning Operation Yellowhammer, which outlined the potential fallout of a no-deal Brexit.

Persson had criticised the last government’s approach to Brexit while working at EY, saying it had offered a lack of clarity for businesses.

When former PM Theresa May struck a draft Brexit deal with the EU last November, he warned that businesses needed confirmation that they could “press the stop button on their no deal planning”.

May’s deal was subsequently defeated three times in parliament.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove is now spending £100m on a no-deal Brexit awareness campaign as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal.

Persson tweeted his support in June for then-Tory leadership contender Matt Hancock’s Brexit plan, which ruled out no-deal Brexit as a policy for the next PM.

“Like others I think @MattHancock‘s Brexit plan is a serious attempt to find a way through,” Persson said at the time.

He added: “It’s legitimate for a new PM to want to renegotiate elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, and EU agreeing to time-limited backstop shouldn’t be completely ruled out.

“But it’s more likely that it refuses or that there isn’t enough time before 31 Oct. A plan is needed for that.”

Read more: Michael Gove launches £100m ‘get ready for Brexit’ advertising campaign