Chances are you’ve never heard of multi-billionaire New Zealander Christopher Chandler.

Chandler heads a private, multi-billion-dollar investment fund based in Dubai, called Legatum CapitalLegatum invests in companies in developing countries such as India, Russia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

For some time now, Legatum has been forging close links to many leading Brexiters in the UK and the company has now emerged as the main adviser to Theresa May and David Davis on its Brexit negotiations with the EU. 

Here’s a familiar face speaking at a Legatum event:

In recent months, Legatum has created something it calls the Special Trade Commission, which has produced a lot of papers advising the May government to take a hard line with the EU and arguing for the hardest of hard Brexits, including insisting that Britain leaves both the customs union and the single market (from its web page):

May has even appointed a Legatum commissioner – another New Zealander Crawford Falconer – to be the UK’s chief trade negotiator for post-Brexit deals. However, in the government’s own press release about the appointment, there is no mention that Falconer works for Legatum.

In its mission statement, Legatum openly admits its aim is to influence the British government on Brexit, and what it calls “other stakeholders”:

But why would a New Zealand private capital investment firm based in Dubai be so interested in a hard Brexit anyway?

Fortunately, the (far) right-wing US pressure group Heritage Foundation helpfully explains it all (to its readers in the US anyway):

Legatum Institute’s Special Trade Commission Advances Brexit Policies Designed to Promote Economic Freedom and Prosperity – for the United Kingdom and (Eventually) the World

According to the Heritage Foundation, Legatum is campaigning to set up a bilateral free trade agreement between the UK and the United States, which will “liberalise” UK regulations on the environment and workplace:So all now becomes clear.

Theresa May is being “shepherded” to a hard Brexit by a Dubai-based private capital investor from New Zealand, just so he and his multi-billionaire mates can get more lucrative UK government contracts unhindered by those pesky EU regulations on environmental protection and workplace rights such as rules relating to hazardous waste and pollution and statutory rights such as maternity and sickness leave, minimum wages etc etc:

No wonder so many Tories love the idea of a hard brexit so much …