David Davis
Brexit
Secretary David Davis on stage at the Conservative Party
conference

Carl Court/Getty
Images


  • Brexit Secretary David Davis will present the case for
    a “no deal” Brexit to the cabinet at the end of
    October.
  • Davis has previously said that no deal was a “very
    distant possibility.”
  • Other senior ministers have said no deal is
    “unthinkable”.

LONDON — David Davis will make the case for a “no deal”
Brexit in an “upbeat” presentation to the cabinet as he attempts
to change his stance 

The Brexit secretary has told civil servants they should advance
preparations for a scenario in which Britain leaves the European
Union without a deal,
The Times newspaper reported
.

It comes after Davis said in
an interview with German newspaper Die Welt
that no deal was
a “very distant possibility” and it is not the government’s
“intention.”

He is expected to deliver the presentation to the cabinet next
week, which could worry ministers who back a “soft” Brexit,
such as Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The recognition by the Brexit secretary that he should step up
plans for a no-deal scenario marks a significant change in the
government’s approach, as Theresa May has so far refused to
countenance it.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told MPs earlier this week that the UK
withdrawing from the EU without a deal was an “unthinkable”
situation.

The prime minister told European leaders at a major summit in
Brussels on Thursday night that they should create a Brexit deal
they could all “stand behind and defend to our people.”

May also implied that the EU must allow talks to progress to
discussions of a future relationship with the UK in order to
allow further concessions to be made on the financial settlement.

However, the prime minister also
privately assured EU leaders
that Britain will pay for
current and future liabilities amounting to around €40 billion,
which would double the amount the government has pledged to pay
in its “divorce bill” so far.

She told the European Council: “The clear and urgent imperative
must be that the dynamic you create enables us to move forward
together.”

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson was one of several
former Conservative ministers who urged the prime minister to
walk away from Brexit negotiations and accept no-deal on
Thursday.

Paterson told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme that he thought it
unlikely that the UK would reach a trade agreement with the EU
“because they are flatly refusing to talk about it.”

The former minister said a trade agreement with the EU would be
“the best destination, but what we should not be terrified of is
the WTO.”

A report by the
Resolution Foundation
published earlier this week showed
that a no-deal Brexit would cost the average British
household £260 a year. 

A Downing Street spokesperson told
The Times
: “The cabinet is regularly updated on preparations
for Brexit — our objective remains to develop a deep and special
partnership with our European allies, and there has been a
positive response to that in Brussels at the European Council.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “David Davis is
having to resort to PowerPoint to explain his barmy plans for
Britain’s future. He clearly hasn’t convinced the cabinet so far
that he has any vision going forward.

“He’s waiting for Halloween to unveil his no deal Brexit Britain.
He thinks it’s a treat, whilst everyone else is about to get
tricked. I’m sure whatever he unveils will be positively spooky.”