THERESA MAY is being asked to urgently step up preparations for a “no deal” Brexit in order to increase the UK’s leverage in negotiations with Brussels.
In a letter to the Prime Minister ahead of a summit of European leaders on Thursday, a group of more than 60 MPs, peers, economists, lawyers and academics calls on Mrs May to “issue instructions to UK authorities to accelerate their preparations for ‘no deal’ and a move to a world trade deal”.
The group includes former Cabinet ministers and Sir David Ord, the co-owner of Bristol Port and a prominent Conservative donor. It urges the Prime Minister to make clear that EU negotiators “will not succeed” in either “delaying or blocking Brexit”.
Whitehall sources insist “there is a lot of preparation going on” behind the scenes.
But the group states: “In light of the reluctance of the EU swiftly to secure a free trade deal – eminently possible since we have been trading freely with the EU for more than 40 years – we suggest you make clear your belief that the UK has now to prepare urgently for the possibility that no agreement is forthcoming.”
The letter was organised by the pro-Brexit Economists for Free Trade group. Yesterday, an estimated 100,000 people joined a rally in London in support of a referendum on the terms of a deal with Brussels.
To read to Sunday Telegraph’s write up in full, click here.