Theresa May was the sole cabinet minister to block a unilateral offer to EU citizens that they could remain in Britain in the days following the referendum, according to an editorial in the London Evening Standard.
The paper, edited by former chancellor George Osborne, reports that David Cameron had prepared an offer to give EU citizens certainty in the days following the referendum result last June.
Cameron had already resigned and a leadership contest was under way in the Conservative party, but May and Osborne were still in post as chancellor and home secretary.“Last June, in the days immediately after the referendum, David Cameron wanted to reassure EU citizens they would be allowed to stay,” the paper said. “All his cabinet agreed with that unilateral offer, except his home secretary, Mrs May, who insisted on blocking it.”
During the leadership election campaign, May’s rivals Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom both pledged that EU citizens would be guaranteed the right to remain, which was not echoed by May. She went on to win the leadership after her fellow frontrunner Leadsom quit the race following a damaging interview on May’s childlessness.