Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to grapple with continuing Cabinet tensions over Brexit strategy as her top team of ministers meet for a special session in Gateshead on Monday.
After Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab indicated he still needs to persuade some members of Mrs May’s Cabinet to get behind the controversial Chequers compromise deal on EU withdrawal aims, the Prime Minister was attempting to emphasis the positive impacts of exiting the bloc.
Doug Gurr, the British manager for the US online giant is reported to have made the comments to other business leaders, insisting this was the worst-case outcome which formed part of his contingency planning.
As London and Brussels squared down for an intensive 12 weeks of talks before the deadline for a deal in October, Mr Raab accused the EU of acting “irresponsibly” and trying to ramp up pressure on the UK with their projections of what the outcome of the UK crashing out of the EU without an agreement would be.
Mr Raab stressed that the UK was serious about about the possibility of a no deal walkaway from the EU, as Tory former PM Sir John Major said that a second referendum was “morally justified”.
After weeks of continued crisis over Brexit strategy, Mrs May will be hoping for a temporary breathing space as the Commons rises for the summer recess on Tuesday.
The ongoing Tory turmoil over Brexit came as Mrs May was hoping to present the Cabinet’s visit to the north east as a commitment to regional development post Brexit.
The Cabinet meeting will see announcements of backing for technology and manufacturing development in the region.
The move away from usual meetings in Downing Street will see a commitment to funding offshore and remote island wind to power millions of homes.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark is announcing on Monday that major projects in the region will receive a cash boost.