Theresa May is thought to be facing a cabinet revolt
The plan, which was discussed by Mrs May’s “war cabinet” of senior ministers yesterday, is believed not to include an end date – something which will enrage hardline Brexiteers including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The proposals are set to be presented to EU leaders in Brussels next week.
However, ministers including International Trade Secretary Liam Fox have voiced their disapproval already.
Speculation is rife that there could be more resignations to add to those of Mr Johnson as Foreign Secretary, as well as Brexit Secretary David Davis, in the wake of the unveiling of Mrs May’s Chequers blueprint earlier this year.
A number of ministers, including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, were said to have raised concerns during the meeting which lasted around an hour-and-a-half.
In addition, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, who was not at the Downing Street meeting, has refused to endorse the Prime Minister’s Chequers blueprint for Brexit.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and the Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom – who, like Ms McVey, both backed Leave in the referendum in 2016 – were also said to harbour deep concerns.
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Damien Green has tried to defuse a row between the Tories and the DUP
10.17am update: Theresa May is a “very unionist” PM, says Damien Green in bid to defuse DUP row
Theresa May is “a very unionist Prime Minister” one of her Conservative allies has insisted amid a Brexit row between her Government and the Democratic Unionist Party.
Her former deputy Damian Green said that she and the DUP which supports her administration were “as one” in their desire to see Northern Ireland treated like the rest of the UK.
It comes after the party, which has a “confidence and supply” deal to back the Tories in Westminster, warned that it would not accept any scenario which involves a border down the Irish Sea, threatening to vote against the upcoming Budget.
Mr Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “She is a very unionist PM, we are the Conservative and Unionist Party.
“She and the DUP are as one in wanting to make sure than Northern Ireland isn’t in some way treated differently from the rest of the United Kingdom in trade or customs terms and that is an absolutely key point in these negotiations, as the DUP have pointed out.”
His remarks come after the DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson yesterday warned of “consequences” if the Conservative Party did not honour its “obligations” towards his party.
He said: “We have simply spelt out what some of those consequences would be.
“I hope the Prime Minister will not go down the route, which has been suggested. She is being forced by the EU.”
The M26 will be closed until Monday
10.03am update: M26 in Kent to be closed to prepare for no-deal lorry park
THE M26 will be closed until next week to prepare to turn it into a potential lorry park in the event there is a no-deal Brexit.
The Kent motorway closure infuriated the local Tory MP Tom Tugendhat who said he had not been told.
He fumed at the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling for keeping him in the dark.
The MP for Tunbridge and Malling said in the Commons on Thursday: “It comes to a pretty pass when an MP is told that work is going on to turn part of a motorway into a lorry park.
“Without any consultation with the local community or surrounding members.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond says the backstop plan must be temporary
9am update: ‘Backstop must be temporary,’ says Hammond
Chancellor Philip Hammond has insisted any backstop solution for Northern Ireland must be temporary as the tension mounts after Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with senior ministers yesterday.
During an interview on Bloomberg TV, Mr Hammond also said the UK may require a “fiscal buffer” to get it through a rocky period after it quits the EU next year.
Mr Hammond acknowledged the backstop plan to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic would probably be needed after the end of the transition period in December 2020, assuming a withdrawal agreement with the EU can be reached – but stressed this would need to be a temporary arrangement.
He said: “We’re not going to remain in anything indefinitely.
“We’re very clear this has to be a temporary period, but it is true that there needs to be a period – probably following the transition period that we’ve negotiated and before we enter into our long-term partnership – just because of the time it will take to implement the systems required.”
In a separate interview for the BBC at an IMF meeting in Bali, he voiced optimism about striking a deal with the EU before March 29, 2019 – the date the UK quits the bloc.
He said: “What has happened over the last week, ten days, is that there has been a measurable change in pace.
“The European Commission is now clearly engaged, there is a sense of urgency and a sense of both sides really trying to break through and solve these knotty problems.”
“But that shouldn’t conceal the fact that we still have some big differences left to resolve.
“So process is a lot more positive this week – substance still very challenging.”
Mr Hammond also played down hopes the unofficial deadline set at the beginning of the negotiations at October 31 will be met.
But he said, as the official day of the UK withdrawal approaches, the pace of the talks has been stepped up.
Hillary Clinton delivers her speech at Queen’s University
8.03am update: Brexit “a self-inflicted wound”, claims Hillary Clinton
Defeated 2016 US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed Brexit “may well go down as one of the greatest and most unnecessary self-inflicted wounds in modern history” during a visit to Belfast.
And she said it was crucial arrangements for the Irish border did not undermine “peace and prosperity” in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Clinton made her remarks during a visit to Queen’s University, where she collected an honorary degree for her “considerable contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process”.
She told guests: “I make no excuse for being against Brexit from the start,” explaining she had “thought it was a bad idea before the referendum, and I think it is an even worse idea now.”
She added: “Brexit seems to be going ahead one way or the other.
“It is crucial that however it comes out, Brexit should not be allowed to undermine the peace and prosperity that has been so dearly won here.”
7.39am update: Companies opt for Dublin – but no Brexodus so far
Dublin is ahead of Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, attracting 25 per cent of all Brexit-related company moves so far – but there are no signs of a so-called Brexodus.
Property group night Knight Frank has surveyed company moves since the 2016, and found while Dublin was proving the clear winner so far for UK companies looking for an EU base after the UK quits the bloc, numbers so far were relatively small.
So far, Ireland has attracted 50 companies, 48 to Dublin and two to Cork. By comparison, Luxembourg has 39, and Paris 24, with Germany cities Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin drawing a combined total of 29.
Companies opting for Dublin include JP Morgan, Barlcays, Morgan Stanley, Equilend, Beazley, Royal London Group, Odgers Berndtson and DLA Piper.