THERESA May is warned today she has only a few weeks to spell out exactly what trade deal she wants from the EU or risk losing a key chance to get it.
As her top table meet to discuss it for the first time tomorrow, a respected think tank has issued a plea for the PM to stop repeatedly delaying the crucial Cabinet decision on Brexit’s ‘end state’.
In an urgent call for action, the Institute for Government’s report reveals the EU can be very flexible in its trade negotiations.
But unless Mrs May wins round leaders to her thinking for good access as well as independence from Brussels rules, she will be forced to make the grim binary choice between one or the other.
Brussels is taking three months to agree its negotiation demands by March next year.
The IfG’s Jill Rutter said: “The UK must craft a proposal that works for the 27 member states as well as for the UK, and invest time and effort into building support for it.
“It is critical we influence before the EU guidelines are set in stone in March.”
As The Sun revealed last week, tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting will duck any decisions to avoid damaging splits, with ministers just asked to vent their views.
Big differences seeped into the open as Mrs May’s senior figures clashed over how closely to follow EU rules which will avoid trade barriers and tariffs.
Brexiteer Boris Johnson insisted a clean split is vital to avoid the UK becoming a “vassal state” of the EU.
Failure to win a deal that allowed divergence would mean the UK could not do “proper free trade deals” with other countries, the Foreign Secretary insisted.
But Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke hit back yesterday to insist: “My view is it’s really important we maximize our access to the European markets”.
The PM’s inner circle Brexit war cabinet meets today ahead of her full top table to make a start on thrashing out the key issue.
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