- Title: Britain's Brexit plan? There is no plan, leaked memo says
- Date: 15th November 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (NOVEMBER 15, 2016) (REUTERS) FRONT PAGE OF THE TIMES NEWSPAPER WITH HEADLINE READING: (English) "CABINET SPLIT THREATENS TO DERAIL MAY'S BREXIT TALKS" CLOSE OF HEADLINE CLOSE ON THE WORDS READING: (English) "LEAKED MEMO" CLOSE OF WORDS READING: (English) "BREXIT UPDATE" CLOSE OF WORDS READING: (English) "30,000 EXTRA CIVIL SERVANTS"
- Embargoed: 30th November 2016 11:38
- Keywords: Theresa May Brexit Cabinet leaked memo The Times
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / NEW DELHI, INDIA
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / NEW DELHI, INDIA
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00158K2HC7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Britain has no overall strategy for leaving the European Union and splits in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet could delay a clear negotiating position for six months, according to a memo for the government that was leaked to The Times newspaper.
The document, prepared by a consultant 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.
"The Prime Minister is rapidly acquiring the reputation of drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself - which is unlikely to be sustainable," according to the document, dated November 7 and published by The Times.
"It may be 6 months before there is a view on priorities/negotiation strategy as the political situation in the UK and the EU evolves," said the document, titled "Brexit Update".
A spokesman for Downing Street said it did not recognise the assertions made in the document but did not explicitly deny the authenticity of the document. The prime minister is focused on making a success of Brexit, the spokesman said.
As ministers arrived at Number Ten Downing Street for a cabinet meeting, they refused to answer questions shouted by reporters, such as "Is the government's exit plan in chaos?" and "Is the cabinet split?"
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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