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Banking consultant Bob Lyddon believes the failure to address ongoing financial commitments contained within the deal negotiated by Mrs May‘s team – which he says have still not been resolved – offers clear evidence that she never wanted to deliver Brexit in the first place. Mrs May’s thrice-rejected withdrawal agreement proved to be her downfall – but apart from the EU’s agreement to dump the backstop proposal in relation to Northern Ireland‘s border with the Republic, it forms the basis for the deal her successor Boris Johnson signed last November.
Mr Lyddon, founder of Lyddon Consultants, believes Mr Johnson needs to tear up the withdrawal agreement before the end of the year – or face the risk of serious financial consequences further down the line as a result of ongoing entanglements with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
He told Express.co.uk: “What is written in the Withdrawal Agreement now is part of Theresa May and Olly Robbins’ plan, which was not to leave detach ourselves definitively from the EU, so that we would just run alongside, not really having withdrawn at all and in five or ten years there would another referendum and we will join again.
“The Withdrawal Agreement bears the hallmark of a negotiating team that was aiming at the maximum possible alignment between the UK and the EU consistent with being able to claim that Brexit had been done, but leaving the UK without genuine independence and still operating on EU guidelines and legal oversight.
Boris Johnson remains shackled by flaws in Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, said Mr Lyddon (Image: GETTY)
Theresa May failed three times to get her deal through Parliament (Image: GETTY)
“The residual liabilities are one aspect of this.
“Where the transaction underlying the liability has no end date, the liability will only expire if the investment is brought to an end.”
Mr Lyddon added: “An example would be the European Investment Bank (EIB) (through its subsidiary the European Investment Fund) issuing a so-called ‘equity commitment’ to a green energy project in the context of InvestEU.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)
“The commitment would be similar to the UK’s subscribed-but-not-called capital in the EIB itself: at a time of the project’s choosing, the project can call up the European Investment Fund subscription.
“The subscription is into shares, which only cease to exist if the project is put into liquidation.
“The owner may be entitled to sell the shares but the projects are normally unlisted so the shares are illiquid; the subscription agreement that the European Investment Fund has signed may also restrict its right to sell the shares.
Craig Oliver was David Cameron’s director of communications (Image: GETTY)
David Cameron talks to Craig Oliver in 2014 (Image: GETTY)
“The agreements are not in the public domain.”
Mr Lyddon said he was sceptical that Mrs May and her team had simply been ignorant about the risks posed by such an arrangement.
He explained: “It is not credible that the UK’s negotiating team knew so little about the mechanisms for the creation of the UK’s liability and the restricted opportunities for exit as to have been bamboozled by the EU’s negotiating team.
“No, the outcome must be seen as deliberate: the UK’s negotiating team willingly and deliberately entered into an agreement knowing that it did not amount to a genuine agreement to withdraw.”
Brexit timetable (Image: Express)
Mrs May backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, although her failure to campaign extensively led to claims by Sir Craig Oliver, who served as director of communications for then-Prime Minister David Cameron, that she was purposely keeping her head down.
In his book All Out War, Mr Oliver suggested she had been given the nickname “submarine May” in reference to her lack of visibility on the issue.
In a leaked recording of a speech to Goldman Sachs on May 26, 2016, barely a month before the referendum, Mrs May said: “I think the economic arguments are clear.
“I think being part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant for us.
Mr Lyddon is concerned by the UK’s ongoing link with the European Investment Bank (Image: GETTY)
“I think, as I was saying to you a little earlier, that one of the issues is that a lot of people will invest here in the UK because it is the UK in Europe.
“If we were not in Europe, I think there would be firms and companies who would be looking to say, do they need to develop a mainland Europe presence rather than a UK presence?
“So I think there are definite benefits for us in economic terms.”
Express.co.uk has approached Mrs May to ask her to comment on Mr Lyddon’s remarks.