THERESA May is today locking her Cabinet ministers behind closed doors – and won’t let them out without an agreement on Brexit.
The PM faces perhaps the biggest challenge of her career as she tries to unite warring Tories behind her “third way” customs plan.
Reuters Theresa May is facing down her ministers today in a 12-hour Brexit summit
Brexiteer ministers are making a last-ditch bid to toughen up Mrs May’s Brexit proposals – and could quit if they fail.
The whole Cabinet is staging a 12-hour meeting at Chequers, the PM’s country home, to decide on the UK’s negotiating stance.
Ministers are having their phones taken off them so they can’t leak any details or appeal for support from aides and allies.
Mrs May has angered Brexit backers by proposing a plan which would tie us closely to Brussels rules in a bid to keep trade flowing freely.
Alan Davidson/AJDImagesLtd David Davis and Boris Johnson are hoping to toughen up the PM’s Brexit plan
Reuters Police at Chequers this morning as a car arrives
Half a dozen Eurosceptic ministers held a separate meeting last night to hammer out their own stance.
They will tell the PM she must keep Britain free to set our own rules on goods – or risk losing out on a bumper trade deal with the US.
Mrs May is braced for senior figures such as Boris Johnson and David Davis to walk out if she can’t talk them round.
Number 10 has reportedly drawn up plans for an emergency reshuffle so the big beasts can be rapidly replaced if they do walk out.
Getty Images – Getty Anti-Brexit protesters at Chequers ahead of today’s meeting
But in a boost for the PM, it’s claimed Boris met David Cameron last night – and the former Prime Minister convinced him he has to back Mrs May.
The PM’s de facto deputy David Lidington was sent out to bat for her this morning to persuade wavering ministers they should pledge support.