- Title: Government does not recognise leaked Brexit memo - Transport Secretary Grayling
- Date: 15th November 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (NOVEMBER 15, 2016) (REUTERS) THE TIMES NEWSPAPER WITH HEADLINE READING: (English) "CABINET SPLIT THREATENS TO DETAIL MAY'S BREXIT TALKS" THE TIMES BANNER AND HEADLINE
- Embargoed: 30th November 2016 13:20
- Keywords: Chris Grayling John McDonnell leaked memo Brexit cabinet The Times
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00158K2RLZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: WHITE FLASH USED TO SEPARATE SOUNDBITE
A leaked memo in the The Times newspaper which said that Britain had no overall strategy for leaving the European Union was rejected by Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Tuesday (November 15).
"We don't recognise this document, it's certainly not something that was commissioned by government and it's not in keeping with my experience," said Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary.
"I am a member of the Brexit committee, part of a team planning for Brexit. I don't recognise the things I've read in the paper this morning. Yes we've got some hard work ahead of us but that hard work is being done, it is being done effectively and we have got a team effort across Whitehall to deliver it," he said.
The document, prepared by consultancy firm Deloitte for the government department that supports the prime minister and her cabinet, casts Britain's top team in a chaotic light: May is trying to control key Brexit questions herself while her senior ministers are divided and the civil service is in turmoil.
Labour's Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell was scathing about the government's Brexit plans.
"People are waking up to the fact that there is no plan and we have got no vision for the future and we've got ministers literally falling out on a daily basis," he said.
"What angers me, actually, is they were in government when the referendum took place. Why wasn't there these preparations made just in case Brexit was achieved in that way. Why weren't they planning since then? It's just chaos," he added.
Such a disorderly portrayal of the government underscores both the extent of the turmoil unleashed by the June 23 vote to leave the EU and the uncertainties ahead as May tries to pull Britain out of the world's biggest trading bloc.
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