While the contents of the memo have been leaked showing a government at odds with itself vis-à-vis Brexit, it would be prudent to be on guard, since this could be part of an overall strategy to make EU negotiators feel overconfident.
As per a leaked memo seen by the BBC and The Times, Britain has no overall plan for Brexit and the strategy for its divorce with the EU may not be ready for the next 6 months due to existing divisions within Theresa May’s government.
The document which was leaked, was prepared by a consultant for the Cabinet Office. As per information contained within it, government departments were working on more than 500 Brexit-related projects which would require an additional 30,000 civil servants.
Theresa May’s office derecognised the claims made in the leaked memo.
“This is not a government report and we don’t recognize the claims made in it,” said a spokesman for May’s office. “We are focused on getting on with the job of delivering Brexit and making a success of it.”
The leaked Memo, titled “Brexit Update” was dated November 7. It was critical of May for her tendency of “drawing in decisions and details to settle the matter herself,” reported The Times and the BBC today.
According to the memo, the lack of a common Brexit policy was because Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Minister David Davis and Trade Minister Liam Fox were on one side while Business Secretary Greg Clark and finance minister Philip Hammond were on the other.
The document stated that “major players” in industry were likely to “point a gun at government’s head” to secure assurances similar to that given to carmaker Nissan that it would not suffer from Brexit.
The British government had earlier stated that it would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March 2017. It has said little of the plans for building Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.