U.K.’s May Orders Brexit Plans Ahead of G-20, Newspapers Report

  • Ministers asked to create action plans before Wednesday
  • Split seen over Britain’s access to single market: newspapers

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May asked her cabinet ministers to come up with a blueprint for how their departments may be able to benefit from Britain’s exit from the European Union ahead of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in China, according to newspaper reports.

Policy makers will have to come up with their action plans for a Cabinet meeting at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house on Wednesday, The Sunday Telegraph reported, without citing anyone. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is resisting plans by some ministers to pull out of the EU single market, The Sunday Times reported.

May at the meeting is expected to say her top priority is finding a plan that will help make Brexit a success before she flies to Hangzhou, China for the G-20 leaders summit on Sept. 4-5. More than three quarters of May’s Cabinet had campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU before the June 23 referendum.

Cabinet Divide

The cabinet is said to be divided over whether Britain should continue to operate in Europe’s single market, the Times reported, without citing anyone. Treasury officials back access to the market for the financial-services industry as a top government priority, the Times reported, while chief Brexit negotiator David Davis and Trade Secretary Liam Fox think Britain will have to leave to fulfill May’s pledge to impose border controls, according to the newspaper.

The cabinet committee in charge of Brexit is meeting next week when both Davis and Fox will submit papers on how leaving the EU should work, The Times said. Both want the Prime Minister to activate Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty – the trigger for formal Brexit talks to begin with Brussels — in early 2017. Davis will also outline what needs to be done to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act.

May is planning to use the G-20 meeting to highlight the wealth of opportunities that will arise from Brexit and discuss future trade relationships, the Sunday Telegraph said, citing unidentified government aides.