This content is not available in your region

UK PM Theresa May secures Cabinet backing for 'Soft Brexit' plan

Access to the comments Comments
By Sallyann Nicholls
UK PM Theresa May secures Cabinet backing for 'Soft Brexit' plan
Copyright  REUTERS

Prime Minister Theresa May has secured backing from her Cabinet to negotiate a soft Brexit with the European Union. It comes off the back of a make-or-break meeting May held on Friday at her country residence in Chequers in a bid to overcome divisions in her government.

"Today in detailed discussions the cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU," May said in a statement.

Key points from May's new Brexit plan

  • Create a UK-EU free trade area which establishes common rules for industrial goods and agricultural products.

  • Establish a pro-business customs model which would secure an open Irish border whilst allowing Britain to strike trade deals around the world.

  • Create a “joint institutional framework” for EU-UK agreements to be interpreted in court, but with “due regard paid to EU case law” where common rules apply.

Following the announcement, the European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said May's plans, which will be subject to negotiations with the EU, will be assessed "to see if they are workable and realistic".

On Friday, the Times newspaper reported, without citing sources, that May had also told senior allies that she would sack her Foreign Minister Boris Johnson if he seeks to undermine the government's agreed negotiation position on Brexit.

Johnson, who fronted the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum, called on May last month to deliver a "full British Brexit" for the public and avoid a “bog roll Brexit” that was “soft, yielding and seemingly infinitely long”.