David Davis 'to pile pressure on Theresa May' over Brexit White Paper delays

Posted On: 
6th June 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis is reportedly set for a showdown with Theresa May over fresh delays to the Government’s heavily-trailed blueprint for leaving the EU.

The Brexit Secretary is said to be "very bullish" about seeing the Government's White Paper on leaving the EU published this month

Ministers were due to finally spell out their plans for a future customs deal with Brussels in a White Paper this month, with Mr Davis promising it would mark the Government's "most significant publication on the EU since the referendum".

But the document has now been kicked down the road, with allies of Mr Davis telling the Sun he believes senior figures in Downing Street are "putting sand in the engine" by holding it back for a fifth rewrite.

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A source close to the Brexit Secretary told the paper he was "very bullish" about seeing the plans published before a crucial meeting of EU leaders this month, and is "prepared to go to the whole Cabinet with his concerns if he has to".

One ally of the Cabinet heavyweight fumed: "For months Europe have been demanding we give them more detail and now we are going out of our way not to give it to them."

The Sun reports that this Thursday's meeting of Mrs May's so-called Brexit 'war cabinet' of top ministers will once again duck the customs row, focusing instead on trademarks for British products such as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Stilton cheese.

Ministers are currently thrashing out competing plans for the UK's post-Brexit customs ties with Brussels, with signs that they are leaning towards the 'maximum facilitation' plan favoured by Brexiteers.

HM Revenue and Customs boss Jon Thompson yesterday stood by his claim that the plan - which would rely on a 'trusted trader' scheme and technological fixes - would cost businesses up to £20bn.

But Brexit-backers believe the alternative proposal, once favoured by Downing Street, will hobble Britain's future trade policy and reduce it to collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU.