Theresa May orders Chequers summit so warring ministers can finally reach Brexit agreement

Posted On: 
9th February 2018

Theresa May's most senior ministers will hold an emergency summit at her country retreat in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock threatening to tear the Government apart.

Theresa May meets with Japanese business leaders in Downing Street yesterday.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister has ordered the get-together at Chequers after her Cabinet sub-committee failed to reach a deal despite two lengthy meetings this week.

Mrs May wants the 11-strong team committee to agree on the Government's so-called Brexit "end state" strategy ahead of the next round of negotiations in Brussels.

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Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are advocating a clean break from the EU's institutions, while the likes of Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd want Britain to remain as closely aligned as possible to the bloc to protect the economy.

Speaking after the committee's second meeting broke up yesterday, Brexit Secretary David Davis said the talks so far had been "very constructive" and insisted many of their differences had been resolved.

"Bear in mind we’ve already got a very, very strong framework of what we want to achieve," he said. "That is an overarching free trade agreement and large numbers of components of what we want to achieve within that, a customs agreement and so on, and we were fleshing that out. But you’ll hear more about that from the Prime Minister in due course.

"There’s still progress to be made, but there’s a great deal of progress been made."

A Downing Street source confirmed that the Chequers meeting was being held to "pull it all together", with Britain expected to say it is seeking full access to the EU single market as well as a customs agreement with the bloc.