Government to try and make sense of Brexit in series of speeches

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said a series of major speeches planned by Prime Minister Theresa May and Cabinet heavyweights would set out a Brexit "vision".

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit secretary David Davis, worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox and cabinet office minister David Lidington are expected to make speeches, according to the BBC, but chancellor Philip Hammond and home secretary Amber Rudd are not.

The Prime Minister, along with David Davis, Boris Johnson, and Liam Fox - all hard-Brexit Cabinet Ministers - will use the set-piece occasions to outline what No 10 is billing as "Britain's road map to Brexit", ahead of next month's crunch negotiations with the EU.

At the Munich security conference on Saturday, the Prime Minister will present plans for a deep partnership with the European Union on defence.

Speaking on the 's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, she said: "I have a surprise for the Brexiteers, which is the subcommittee that meets in order to help make these decisions is more united than they think". Better we have a general election.

Asked if she thought a transition period was a given, Mordaunt said: "My personal view is I do because it's in our interest and it's in the EU's interest, so I think common sense will prevail".

David Gauke meanwhile has rejected accusations that Hammond had been gagged.

In a bid to regain the initiative on Brexit after a rocky few weeks during which tensions between her top team came to the surface, Theresa May is set to make two keynote addresses. I think that we will arrive at something which suits us all. "The indecision is no longer acceptable", she tweeted.

The first speech, which is scheduled for this Wednesday, will see Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arguing for national unity over Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May is facing growing pressure from her fellow Conservatives Party members to clarify her position on Brexit, to stand up for the country's interest in the ongoing divorce talks with Brussels.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, who backed Remain in the referendum, will also deliver a speech.

Mrs May will address a conference in Munich, Germany, to detail the "security partnership" the United Kingdom wants to maintain with the EU27.

She will round-off the process in about three weeks' time with a keynote address on the overall relationship, following a special "away day" summit of the Cabinet withdrawal committee at Chequers.