I sacrificed my job for Remain, says Osborne
In a rare Commons appearance, the former Chancellor accused the Prime Minister of failing to prioritise the economy in the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Osborne, who was sacked by Mrs May in one of her first acts as Prime Minister last summer, said he had ‘sacrificed my position in government’ to campaign passionately for Remain.
But he made no mention of the lucrative – and controversial – jobs he has since taken up.
The former Chancellor has come under fire after pocketing £600,000 from after-dinner speeches, and taking up a controversial role with US investment firm BlackRock, which is expected to earn him a six-figure salary.
Yesterday, he made no apology for his extraordinary referendum claim that Brexit would spark an ‘immediate’ recession.
Instead, he served notice that he would oppose plans to curb immigration.
Mr Osborne said the Government had chosen ‘not to make the economy the priority in this negotiation, they have prioritised immigration control’.
He predicted there would be ‘lively debate’ in Parliament in the coming years on issues such as immigration, state aid and agricultural policy, adding: ‘I will be in those fights in the couple of years ahead.’
He said he would vote for Article 50 because for MPs to do otherwise would risk ‘putting Parliament against people’ and provoking a ‘deep constitutional crisis’.
John Longworth, former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, accused Mr Osborne of ‘sniping and sneering’ at a Brexit result he had done everything to prevent.
Mr Longworth, now co-chairman of the Leave Means Leave group, said the former Chancellor was ‘wrong’ to say the Government was not prioritising the economy.
He added: ‘After a swift, clean break from the EU, Britain can become the best country in the world in which to do business.
‘Only by leaving can we crystallise the economic benefits of Brexit. The former Chancellor should be embracing these benefits instead of sniping and sneering at the democratic will of the people.’
Mr Osborne said he was ‘saddened’ by Brexit. And he suggested that negotiations with the EU would be ‘bitter’.
He also claimed the EU’s priority will be to ‘maintain the integrity of the remaining 27 members of the European Union’, adding: ‘They are not interested in a long and complex hybrid agreement with the United Kingdom and so therefore both sides at the moment are heading for a clean break from the European Union for the United Kingdom.’
Downing Street said: ‘The former Chancellor speaks for himself.’
February 2nd, 2017: Daily Mail