Theresa May's ministers to thrash out Brexit options

Chequers away-day comes amid reports of tension between some of the key government players on Britain's exit from the European Union

By Emilio Casalicchio

31 Aug 2016

Theresa May’s cabinet will meet at Chequers on Wednesday to “brainstorm” plans for Britain’s exit from the EU.

Ministers will report to May after she requested they map out how Brexit could be a success for their individual departments.

The discussions come amid reports of tension between some of the key government players.

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The prime minister has said the triggering of Britain’s formal exit from the EU – setting in motion a two-year negotiation period – will not happen until the start of 2017 at the earliest.

Key factors such as the UK’s trade relationship with the bloc and the status of EU citizens already living in Britain remain unclear.

According to the BBC, Wednesday’s talks are being trailed as a “brainstorm” on the UK’s negotiating objectives with EU member states, and the most significant discussions since the vote to leave.

But The Guardian reports divisions between top government players are already emerging over possible Brexit scenarios drawn up by civil servants.

Some officials at the Foreign Office, led by secretary of state Boris Johnson, are pushing for “as much Europe as possible”, a Whitehall source told the paper.

Meanwhile others in the Home Office are apparently prioritising an immigration clampdown over full EEA membership or access to the single market.

One scenario mooted is for European citizens from countries further away from the UK to require visas to come to Britain on holiday.

Elsewhere, May yesterday ruled out holding a second referendum on the terms of the eventual Brexit agreement with the EU.

She also dismissed speculation that she could hold a general election before 2020.

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