Theresa May criticised after 'leaked plan' to sell Brexit deal to the public is revealed

Posted On: 
7th November 2018

Theresa May has been criticised after an apparent government plan to sell her Brexit deal to the public was released.

Theresa May's spokesperson hit out at the 'childish language' in the email.

The note - which has been rubbished by both Number 10 and the Department for Exiting the EU - spelled out how ministers planned to drum up support from foreign leaders and the business community in a three-week media blitz culminating in a Commons vote on 27 November.

The document says Mrs May will tell the CBI business lobby group on 19 November that the UK has "delivered on the referendum" before mounting a nationwide tour to plug the deal.

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"The narrative is going to be measured success, that this is good for everyone, but won’t be all champagne corks popping," it adds.

Among those who would be lobbied to back the Government were Japanese leader Shinzo Abe and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, the note said.

But the document has been downplayed by Downing Street, which issued a strongly-worded statement saying it was not representative of government "thinking".

A spokesperson said: "The misspelling and childish language in this document should be enough to make clear it doesn’t represent the Government’s thinking.

"You would expect the Government to have plans for all situations — to be clear, this isn’t one of them."

A DExEU source also insisted that they had played no part in drawing up the leaked note.

Brexiteer Tory MP Jacoob Rees-Mogg said: "It sounds like a very Blairite approach to media and opinion management. The electorate will not be as easily hoodwinked as they were when the Blair spin doctors were at their peak."


The row over came as Mrs May told her Cabinet she is confident of agreeing a Brexit deal, with one top minister telling PoliticsHome that colleagues had been advised to "stand by our diaries".

The Prime Minister will meanwhile seek to calm industry jitters over Brexit today with the launch of five new "business councils" aimed at helping the Government create "the best business conditions in the UK after Brexit".

Bosses have been among the loudest voices raising concerns over the UK's departure from the EU, with the CBI warning last month that fear of a no-deal Brexit had already forced firms to plan job cuts.

The new groups being launched by Mrs May today will meet three times a year - twice with the Prime Minister herself and once with a top Cabinet minister, and will be co-chaired by business leaders including the bosses of telecoms firm BT, broadcaster ITV, and defence giant BAE Systems.

Mrs May, who will host the chairs at Number 10 today, said: "Brexit presents a huge opportunity to build a better, stronger economy for people all over the country.

"So I’ve asked these new councils to advise us on the opportunities and challenges facing business as we shape the UK for the future."