Controversial plans for a ‘customs partnership’ with the EU have been quietly dropped following opposition from Cabinet Brexiteers.
Theresa May set up a Cabinet group last month to revive the option after it was mauled by Eurosceptic ministers.
But Whitehall sources revealed last night that almost no work has been done on the plan, with Government efforts focused on an alternative favoured by Cabinet Brexiteers.
Sources said the working group of Mrs May’s deputy David Lidington, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had met just once.
Sources said the working group of Mrs May’s deputy David Lidington, Environment Secretary Michael Gove (pictured) and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had met just once
One said it was a ‘face-saving exercise’ to allow the option, which was backed by the Prime Minister, to ‘die with dignity’.
A group of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest supporters yesterday launched a campaign to keep Britain in the EU.
Left Against Brexit unveiled a speaking tour to persuade Labour to drop its commitment to back Britain’s exit from the EU. The Labour leader has a long history of opposing the EU and has said the Brexit vote must be respected.
Speakers include Manuel Cortes, head of the TSSA transport union, Michael Chessum, who helped found the pro-Corbyn Momentum group, and Labour MP Catherine West, a Corbyn ally. The group wants to change Labour’s stance but is not pushing for a second referendum.
Mr Cortes, whose union helped run Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign, called Brexit a ‘Tory act of war on our class’, adding: ‘Frankly, there is no one better placed than Jeremy to call for peace and reconciliation with Europe.’
By contrast, a group working on the Government’s alternative plan – ‘maximum facilitation’ or Max Fac – has held six meetings and conference calls.
The group – Brexit Secretary David Davis, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley – has also