Government prepared to walk away from Brexit talks if bad deal on table - report

Posted On: 
6th May 2017

The Government could publish its contingency plans for leaving the European Union without a trade deal in a bid to show Brussels it is prepared to walk away from Brexit talks.

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker
PA Images

According to The Sun, the move would be an effort to convince EU bosses that Britain will not agree to a deal if it felt the terms on offer were not advantageous.

It would involve publishing the plans drawn up by government departments at the request of the head of the civil service earlier this year.

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“I understand that not only has the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood told every Government department to prepare for a no-deal scenario, but the Government is also considering publishing it,” wrote the paper’s columnist James Forsyth.

“They hope that by setting out their plan, they would show the rest of the EU that Britain really was prepared to walk away rather than sign up to a bad deal.”

Mrs May has repeatedly insisted that she is prepared for Brexit to take place without future trade terms - insisting "no deal is better than a bad deal".

The Sun’s report comes after a week of rows between the Prime Minister and Brussels, beginning with a leaked account of a meeting between her and Jean-Claude Juncker which suggested the European Commission president was shocked by Mrs May’s understanding of the EU position.

That was followed by Mrs May accusing Brussels of attempting to “interfere” in the UK’s general election in a statement outside Downing Street.