Theresa May Splits Cabinet To Seek Brexit Solution


She has tasked officials with doing more work on both options and split some ministers into two teams to brainstorm to find solutions to overcome the obstacles.

- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has attacked Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for a customs partnership with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc - the latest discord within the Conservative government over Brexit.

Johnson and David Davis, the Brexit secretary, favour...

Number 10 insists the idea is not to give each proposal a going over by its opponents (and anyway ministers" views aren't that "binary'), but to match them to relevant departmental responsibilities.

Neither Johnson nor the chancellor, Philip Hammond, were included in the working groups, with cabinet sources suggesting that they were considered to be the "ultras" on each side, meaning their involvement could have made discussions hard.

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Each working group will be mostly opposed to the option they're considering.

Brexit-backers prefer the second version, while the European Union is now starting to engage with May's proposal - a plan it had previously branded unworkable.

Theresa May earlier said that even though she was against keeping Britain in the EU customs union, she would still like to have a customs deal with Brussels that would allow London to sign trade deals with individual countries at its own will.

But the lack of decision has coincided with growing calls for Britain to stay in the customs union with the EU, a move its supporters say could solve the problem of a new hard border with Ireland that could fuel sectarian violence.

For Prime Minister May, time is running out to heal the divisions in Cabinet.

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"Theresa May and her Cabinet must deliver what they promised", the letter warns.

But as time ticks by, those decisions that have been kicked down the road are becoming increasingly pressing as European Union negotiators wait for Britain's detailed position not only on customs, but also on the wider trade agreement and governance.

"We want to get this done".

It came as Labour accused the government of "effectively subverting democracy" after an announcement of coming government business made no mention of any major Brexit-related legislation to be debated in the House of Commons.

This week has seen cabinet ministers take different positions on Brexit. Environment Secretary Michael Gove, a leading pro-Brexit campaigner, said her customs partnership idea had "flaws", though he also acknowledged that neither plan was ideal.

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