‘As 10 Downing Street prepares for tense post-leave debates in Brussels as soon as the Brexit bell rings, government executives have been energetically trying on different models, with or without a deal. This came to light shortly after reports emerged of upcoming trade talks with Washington.
Whitehall has discreetly started negotiations on No Deal planning amid fears trade talks with Brussels may collapse, The Mail on Sunday reported citing sources.
On Thursday, for instance, the EU Exit Operations Committee, dubbed XO and chaired by Michael Gove, assembled to start bracing for a “disorderly December” in the event Brussels fails to understand that “we really are going at the end of the year”, the edition quoted a cabinet minister who was present as saying.
‘No Bluffing on No Extension’
Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top aide on the Brexit proceedings, warned that Brussels is yet to “wake up” to Britain’s position on the issue and it will be several weeks before it does so.
“We are not bluffing on the no extension”, the top No. 10 aide told government advisers at a Friday meeting. He brought up the Tories’ overwhelming triumph in the 12 December vote, saying Europe would be wrong to think that “a big majority means a softening of our position”.
Brussels has “failed to grasp their judges will have no power and we are not interested in level playing fields”, Cummings thundered.
In a much similar wording, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid invited a thorough reality check on what Brexit entails.
Javid commented to the Financial Times: “There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule-taker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union and we will do this by the end of the year”.
“We’re … talking about companies that have known since 2016 that we are leaving the EU”, he added.’