Theresa May summons ministers to Chequers to discuss Brexit

Updated: 

Theresa May will gather her Cabinet ministers on Wednesday to discuss her plans for Brexit.

The Prime Minister has charged her top team with setting out the opportunities that leaving the European Union will create in each of their portfolios.

The Cabinet will meet at the Prime Minister's country retreat Chequers to discuss the next steps in the process amid speculation that Mrs May will implement Article 50 - triggering the two-year period leading to Brexit - without seeking the backing of Parliament.

A Downing Street source said Brexit was "top of the in tray" for Mrs May as she begins her first full week back at work in Westminster after her summer holiday in Switzerland.

The UK's future outside the EU will also be an issue as Mrs May travels to the G20 summit in China at the weekend.

It will be the Prime Minister's first international trip outside Europe and Mrs May will "use this opportunity to highlight the wealth of opportunities that will arise from Brexit", Downing Street insiders said.

Number 10 hopes the meeting with leaders of the world's richest nations will build on conversations Mrs May has already had with many of them about future trade deals.

Despite reports of a feud between the ministers in charge of the main Brexit departments - Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox - Mrs May will use the Cabinet meeting to compare the unity in Tory ranks with the chaos in the Labour Party.

Almost 50,000 people have joined the party since she became PM and the Tory conference in October has seen a record number of registrations.

Mrs May has resisted calls to take advantage of the disarray in Labour ranks by calling an early election, and a source insisted the Tory party was "ready to get on with the work of governing for the whole country".

Despite the pressing issue of Brexit, Mrs May is keen to ensure her administration is not defined by the European question.

She has already announced an audit of public services to root out racial disparities, ordering Whitehall departments to identify and publish information showing how outcomes vary for people of different backgrounds in a range of areas including health, education and employment.

On Thursday Mrs May will chair the first meeting of a new social reform committee, with housing and racial disparity on the agenda.

Ministers will also discuss the new industrial strategy, with Mrs May expected to set out her ambition for the UK to become the best country in the world for innovative firms and transforming scientific discoveries into successful businesses