UK's Raab says confident of Brexit deal, needs two to tango

Theresa May tells Cabinet 'now its time to hold our nerve' over Brexit

As ministers gathered at 10 Downing Street on Monday, the prime minister said she remained confident of securing a withdrawal agreement with the European Union, but the government would continue to plan for the possibility of no deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to press ahead with her so-called Chequers plan for a soft-Brexit, her advisors said after a meeting of her top ministers at Downing Street Monday.

Pro-Brexit Cabinet Ministers, including International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, are being monitored closely by No 10 for signs they could resign if no alternative to Chequers is presented.

Meanwhile, hardline Brexiteers piled pressure on Mrs May to ditch her Chequers blueprint for future relations with the EU.

'This is about how you can have a fantastic Brexit that sets us up for the next generation and ensures our prosperity, ' he said.

Over the weekend Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, seen as a May loyalist, pointedly refused to rule out the prospect that the Government could switch its negotiating position in favour of a Canada-style deal.

Mrs May's spokesman also dismissed the Brexiteers" plan, adding: "The PM has repeatedly set out that we must protect the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom as a whole'.

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The cabinet remains fully behind Theresa May's Brexit policy in the face of growing calls within her party to change direction, No 10 has insisted.

The Prime Minister insists her proposal, which would see Britain maintain a "common rulebook" with the European Union for trade in goods and agriculture, is the only credible option on the table which would avoid the return of a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Mrs May said the Government's White Paper remained the only plan on the table which achieves the goals of frictionless trade and an open border in Ireland.

"We don't need to extend Article 50... we've got enough time", he said, adding that Britain would leave on March 29 even if it meant a "no deal" Brexit.

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'So, we are going to hold our nerve, but continue to negotiate in good faith'.

The Sunday Times reported that two senior aides within May's Downing Street team had responded to her "summit humiliation" last week by suggesting that an early general election in November could help save both her leadership and her job.


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