Ex-Treasury minister Jim O'Neill: Theresa May's advisers 'lack strategic perspective'

Written by Josh May on 10 April 2017 in News

Theresa May’s advisers “lack strategic perspective” to take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit, a former Treasury minister has said.

Lord O’Neill was appointed when George Osborne was Chancellor to spearhead the Government’s efforts to build links with China and India.

The former Goldman Sachs chief economist resigned from the Government in September, after speculation that he was at odds with the new Prime Minister over the importance of closer ties with the economic superpowers and other policies like the Northern Powerhouse.

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Speaking to the Telegraph Lord O’Neill, who supported remaining part of the European Union, said “some good could come from leaving” – but only if the government fully commits to its “Global Britain” ambition.

“These people [Mrs May’s advisers] lack strategic perspective. We should have a minister almost permanently camped in China trying to do trade deals, but they simply don’t think about China when they get out of bed. It is not in their DNA,” he said.

“You’ve got to follow through on Global Britain with substance, and they are not doing that. The Chinese are confused about what is happening.”

When he resigned from the government, Lord O’Neill also gave up the Conservative whip and now sits in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated peer

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Josh May is news editor of CSW's sister site, PoliticsHome.com, where a version of this story first appeared

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