Cabinet looks to make friends in the North

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:00 23 July 2018

Theresa May speaks during a cabinet meeting at Chequers where she presented her controversial Brexit plan for the first time
Photo: PA / Joel Rouse/Crown Copyright

Theresa May speaks during a cabinet meeting at Chequers where she presented her controversial Brexit plan for the first time Photo: PA / Joel Rouse/Crown Copyright

PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May’s divided cabinet has headed north in a bid to come together over her Brexit strategy.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has admitted that even after the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson in the wake of the Chequers proposal there remains tension over the plan.

He said he still needs to persuade some members the cabinet to get behind the controversial compromise deal on EU withdrawal aims. Meanwhile the prime minister is attempting to emphasis the positive impacts of exiting the bloc.

However, the meeting comes as the head of Amazon in the UK was reported by The Times to have said there could be “civil unrest” within two weeks if Britain leaves the European Union with no deal.

Doug Gurr, the British manager for the US online giant is reported to have made the comments to other business leaders, insisting this was the worst-case outcome which formed part of his contingency planning.

As London and Brussels squared down for an intensive 12 weeks of talks before the deadline for a deal in October, Raab accused the EU of acting “irresponsibly” and trying to ramp up pressure on the UK with their projections of what the outcome of the UK crashing out of the EU without an agreement would be.

Raab stressed that the UK was serious about the possibility of a no-deal walkaway from the EU, as Tory former prime minister Sir John Major said that a second referendum was “morally justified”.

After weeks of continued crisis over Brexit strategy, May will be hoping for a temporary breathing space as the Commons rises for the summer recess on Tuesday.

The ongoing Tory turmoil over Brexit came as May was hoping to present the cabinet’s visit to Gateshead as a commitment to regional development post Brexit.

The cabinet meeting will see announcements of backing for technology and manufacturing development in the region.

The move away from usual meetings in Downing Street will see a commitment to funding offshore and remote island wind to power millions of homes.

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