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Former PM's Brexit negotiator joins Goldman Sachs

Olly Robbins, former PM's Brexit negotiator Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Olly Robbins was Theresa May's chief Brexit negotiator

Theresa May's chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins will join investment bank Goldman Sachs after a sabbatical, the Cabinet Office has said.

The civil servant headed talks which led to the former prime minister's withdrawal agreement which formed the basis for the UK's exit from the EU.

However, the deal repeatedly failed to get through Parliament, prompting Ms May to resign earlier this year.

Mr Robbins, 44, announced he would quit his role shortly afterwards.

The civil servant attracted criticism from prominent Brexit supporters who accused him of being too pro-EU.

But new Prime Minister Boris Johnson - who has himself has been fiercely critical of the withdrawal agreement - paid his own tribute to Mr Robbins on Monday.

Mr Robbins' work earned him a knighthood from former prime minister Theresa May in her resignation honours list.

'Dedication to public service'

Mr Robbins will first spend a sabbatical at the University of Oxford, becoming the first holder of a visiting fellowship set up in memory of former Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood.

"I am delighted that Olly will be the first permanent secretary to take up this fellowship in Jeremy Heywood's memory, which follows his many years of dedication to public service in a variety of different roles," Mr Johnson said.

Mr Robbins will leave the civil service at the end of the fellowship to become a managing director in Goldman Sachs' Investment Banking Division.

He will join former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who is the non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International.

He is not the only figure from British politics to have gone into finance. Former Chancellor George Osborne earns £650,000 a year in a role with US investment fund Blackrock, while former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling is a non-executive director at investment bank Morgan Stanley.

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