Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Michael Gove will demand the Prime Minister resists settling a final divorce bill with Brussels until the country’s “end state” has been properly discussed.
It comes after the pair hand delivered a bombshell letter to Mrs May outlining their post-Brexit vision – but it was kept secret from Brexit Secretary David Davis and the rest of Cabinet.
Theresa May has called the Brexit ‘war Cabinet’ meeting on Monday to ask for support to make the EU bill offer so negotiations can progress to the second phase, the start of trade talks.
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell and her chief negotiator Oliver Robbins called in Mr Johnson and Environment Secretary Mr Gove in last week for talks in the hope the pair would support Mrs May to ensure ““sufficient progress” is made.
But it is unlikely the Prime Minister, who wants to make the offer on the even of a summit in Brussels next month, will get their backing.
A senior Whitehall source told The Times: “Theresa wants a green light to hand over £40bn.
“But the more important thing is what the ‘end state’ deal is. We haven’t talked about that properly yet.”
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove’s letter also spelled out the risk of Brexit talks collapsing before Britain leaves in 2019.
They warned the country to be prepared for a ‘no deal’ scenario after a “total breakdown in talks” and crashing out of the EU without a trade deal in place.
They wrote: “We may not be able to reach agreement on the final deal during the implementation period or even know by March 2019 if an agreement is going to be possible or not.
“The worst case is a total breakdown in March 2019, but even if we avoid that we may still have a ‘no deal’ outcome at the end of the transition period.
“We are profoundly worried that in some parts of government the current preparations are not proceeding with anything like sufficient energy.”