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Theresa May set to firm up Brexit position by publishing key position papers

2 min read

Theresa May is reportedly preparing to ramp up her approach to Brexit by demanding ministers sign off position papers on key issues.

According to Sky News, some of the papers could be released in the next fortnight ahead of the third round of exit negotiations between David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The latest round of talks ended with Mr Barnier saying there were still “fundamental” differences on key issues such as the role of the European Court of Justice.

Until the three issues of citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the so-called ‘divorce bill’ have been settled, there will not be any progress on a future trading relationship between the UK and Brussels.

Position papers have apparently already been prepared on issues such as data protection, Northern Ireland, customs and future trade in goods and services.

A senior source told the broadcaster the papers “are meant to facilitate collective decision making based on facts and evidence".

The aim is to unite feuding Cabinet ministers around a common negotiating position, following weeks of internal bickering over different aspects of Brexit.

"I know there is a desire to narrow the set of options and that is coming from departments rather than DExEU,” another source told Sky.

“It is a lot of work to keep open five or six scenarios, so there is a desire to make some decisions now, regardless of negotiations."

Another unnamed figure said civil servants had been working particularly hard on the position papers because of the time-limited nature of the Brexit talks.

"Position papers may determine whether or not we can move to the second stage of negotiations, work in recess is vital,” they said.

“We never sleep.”

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