Candidate to negotiate Brexit trade deals walks away after failed negotiation – Metro
Jonathan Fried was thought to be the best candidate (Picture: Government of Canada)
Britain’s potential chief trade negotiator for Brexit walked away when the civil service refused to negotiate over his salary.
Jonathan Fried was considered to be the leading candidate but withdrew from the process when Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of the civil service, would not budge on the £160,000 salary, The Times reported.
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A number of other prominent trade negotiators did not even apply for the role – because they considered the salary offered to be too low.
Mr Fried, who is Canadian and played key roles in broking deals with the US, EU and China, made it to the final stage of talks before walking away.
Sources told The Times that failure to gain his services damaged Brexit talks for Britain.
Sir Jeremy Heywood is offering a £160,000 for the job (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)
Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade created the position of chief trade negotiation adviser with a salary of £160,000, which could be exceeded for an ‘exceptional’ candidate.
A spokeswoman for Mr Fox, the international trade secretary, told the Times: ‘We’ve appointed our first choices for both the DIT permanent secretary role and the chief trade negotiation adviser role.
‘To suggest otherwise is completely false. We’ve had no difficulty attracting high-calibre talent for both permanent secretary roles, which received a significant number of applications from well-qualified candidates across the world.’
Sources told The Times that the position of chief trade negotiation adviser has now been filled and will be revealed soon.