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May cabinet split three ways on Brexit transition

by Jonathan Adams

Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet is divided over the time frame to be adopted for Britain’s exit from the European Union. While one faction is advocating a harder brexit or a quick divorce from the association of European economies, the others do not seem to agree with it. This development has split the May cabinet in three ways.

Although, the government is convinced about the need of a transition period, it is not unanimous regarding the ways to be adopted to navigate Britain out of the bloc. The disagreement over the procedure to be adopted for brexit has created factions within the cabinet which includes May’s closest ministers.

The present scenario highlights the fragility of May’s administration, with the supporters of a gradual brexit, led by Chancellor Philip Hammond, influencing the shape of brexit. The balance of power changed after June’s snap elections which left May with no majority in Parliament. Meanwhile, European Union leaders have warned about the 2019 deadline.

Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd want to make brexit as gradual as possible since they are concerned about the economic impact of brexit. They are insisting on full access for businesses to the single market and customs union during the transition period.

On the other hand, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who is supporting a quick brexit and the freedom to negotiate trade deals at the earliest.

Along the way, are May, her deputy Damien Green and leading Brexit supporters such as Environment Secretary Michael Gove and David Davis who are keen on the middle way. They are supporting a prolonged transition period during which there would be few restrictions on EU migration. They are rejecting single market membership but calling for transitional customs arrangements.

This article is for information purposes only.
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