May insists she can be trusted to deliver Brexit despite cabinet disarray

Henry Newman

They say: "The local election results show that the Government is being supported to deliver a sensible, non-fudged Brexit".

Theresa May today seeks to break the deadlock in her warring cabinet and party over their differences on Brexit by declaring "trust me to deliver" and vowing: "I will not let you down".

Her intervention comes after tensions in the cabinet exploded into the open last week as Boris Johnson launched an attack on the prime minister's preferred option for a post-Brexit EU customs partnership.

On a visit to Edinburgh, the Cabinet Office minister said Theresa May took the view that it could not be left to civil servants to sort out the customs row, which has split her Cabinet.

"Of course, the details are incredibly complex and, as in any negotiation, there will have to be compromises".

News has learned that the cabinet's Brexit subcommittee has formed working groups to look over each of the two proposals for a new customs deal.

She said her mission in the talks was to build a new, close trading relationship with the European Union, put Britain in full control over its immigration policy and taxpayer spending and build closer ties with the world's emerging economies.


"This means there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK", May wrote. The EU has expressed doubts about whether either option would work.

One group will consider a "customs partnership" whereby the United Kingdom would collect tariffs on behalf of the EU.

The maximum facilitation proposal - also known as "max-fac" - would employ new technologies and trusted trader schemes to remove the need for physical customs checks. May wishes to have the issues settled before the summit in June, but the committee is deadlocked over the issues.

He wants the Government to negotiate a temporary customs union that will expire in March 2022, three years after the United Kingdom formally leaves the EU.

The Sunday Times said May's article was "an appeal for unity as she enters another perilous phase of her premiership".

"But to get its way with Brussels, and to convince Parliament that there is an alternative to a customs union, the Government needs to get on with it, choose "max fac" - and start making the case".

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