'All contingencies' for EU withdrawal to be considered at Cabinet meeting

Brexit will dominate Tuesday's Cabinet meeting as ministers consider all options for Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

While Prime Minister Theresa May talks up the prospects of a Brexit deal, preparations for the UK leaving the trading bloc without an agreement will also feature in the talks.

The Government has already dismissed reports that the meeting would see Brexit Secretary David Davis present a "positive" gloss on a no deal scenario.

David Davis
David Davis (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

But Ministers have stressed that "all contingencies" would be looked at as the UK assesses progress in difficult EU divorce talks.

Mr Davis is expected to take the lead in the Cabinet talks, with the Government hoping that progress in withdrawal negotiations will see EU leaders allowing a second strand of trade talks to begin in December.

The EU has insisted that more progress needs to be made on legacy issues such as Britain's exit bill, citizens' rights, and the Irish border before negotiations about the future trading relationship with Britain can begin.

Public opinion of government's Brexit negotiations
(PA Graphics)

With Mrs May under pressure from some hardline Brexiteers to walk out of withdrawal talks unless the EU gives ground on trade negotiations by Christmas, it has been speculated that the PM may avoid any firm Cabinet stance on how to move forward until the New Year.

The remaining 27 EU states agreed at a summit earlier this month to start discussing among themselves the options for trade talks with the UK.

The Cabinet meeting comes as TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady is warning of a "nightmare on Brexit Street" if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal.

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