Friday 6 July 2018

May issues extraordinary threat to strip ministers of official cars if they resign over Brexit plan at Chequers summit

Theresa May issued an extraordinary threat to abandon Brexiteers in the Buckingamshire countryside today if they quit over her plan for future ties with the EU.

As the high-stakes summit at Chequers kicked off, the PM's aides made clear ministers who resign will immediately be stripped of their official car - forcing them to call a taxi or walk miles to the nearest train station.

But defiant Tory MPs responded to the unprecedented sabre-rattling by offering to drive up to the remote country pile and collect rebels.

The bitter clashes came as Mrs May mounts an all-out bid to force through her 'third way' trade plan despite a massive onslaught from more than half-a-dozen senior ministers led by Boris Johnson.

They are incandescent that the blueprint would commit to aligning with EU regulations, obeying European judges, and effectively giving up on a comprehensive trade deal with the US.

But Mrs May is said to be determined to face them down - and No10 has drawn up a 'full reshuffle plan' in case anyone resigns. Aides have warned that a 'talented new generation' of Tories are waiting in the wings to take prized spots at the top table. 

David Cameron intervened to shore up Mrs May by urging Mr Johnson not to resign at a private heart-to-heart last night.


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