MP at centre of cabinet split on Brexit

MP at centre of cabinet split on Brexit

According to a leaked memo prepared for the Cabinet Office, MP Greg Clark is at the heart of a major political split over Brexit. He has a seat at cabinet in his capacity as Business Secretary.

Dated November 7 and titled Brexit Update, details of the memo were published yesterday in The Times national newspaper.

The memo, that comes from a Government consultant, talks of Whitehall staff working on more than 500 Brexit-related projects, meaning that an extra 30,000 civil servants might be needed.

It also refers to divisions within the cabinet that could lead to government needing an additional six months to decide on its priorities for leaving Europe and its negotiating strategy.

Disagreements within Theresa May’s cabinet are said to be hampering preparations and the consultant identifies a rift between the so called ‘three Brexiteers’ Boris Johnson (Foreign Secretary), David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) and Liam Fox (Minister for International Trade) on the one side.

On the other side are Chancellor Philip Hammond and Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark.

The memo claims: “Despite extended debate among permanent secretaries, no common strategy has emerged.”

The Prime Minister wants to trigger the formal start of exit talks by the end of March. The memo, that was circulated within Whitehall, indicates that civil servants are finding it hard to cope with their workload and the proposed timetable.

Mr Clark was firmly in favour of staying in Europe as were the majority of his constituents who voted in the EU referendum. Tunbridge Wells was the only borough in Kent to vote Remain.

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