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Stop EU exit "catastrophe", says UK Brexit minister's ex-chief of staff

File photo dated 31/03/17 of the Union flag and the EU flag flying from the same mast above the Summerhall building in Edinburgh. EU citizens living in the UK are in Brussels to urge members of the European Parliament and Commission to ensure their rights are guaranteed after Brexit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 11, 2017. Anne-Laure Donskoy will tell MEPs that EU citizens' rights "to work, to marry, to have access to health services and education, to build a business" are "at risk" and should be "guaranteed and preserved not just for the short or medium term but permanently". See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Britain's exit from the EU will be the country's biggest calamity since World War Two, the former chief of staff to Brexit minister David Davis said on Wednesday, calling for a new political movement to oppose the divorce.
The criticism from someone who, until May, had a ringside seat for Britain's exit preparations comes at a time when Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy is the subject of open political debate after an ill-judged snap election in June badly weakened her position.
"It's the biggest calamity for our country since WW2, I'm afraid," said James Chapman, who ran chief negotiator Davis's office for nearly a year after the June 2016 EU referendum. He has since moved to work for a public relations firm.
Late on Tuesday he tweeted: "Past time for sensible MPs (Members of Parliament) in all parties to admit Brexit is a catastrophe, come together in new party if need be, and reverse it."
Chapman previously worked as an aide to then-finance minister George Osborne and worked on his campaign for 'Remain' in the run up to the referendum.
Before working for Osborne, he was political editor for the Daily Mail, an influential right-leaning newspaper which supported Brexit.

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