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According to reporting by the London Sunday Times, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is facing dwindling cabinet support for her strategy to revert to a no-deal Brexit should the European Union continue blockade attempts by the UK to reach a workable trade deal.

Key highlights

Sources have informed the Sunday Times that PM May is bleeding cabinet support for her strategy of using a no-deal Brexit as a fall-back negotiating strategy with the EU, essentially hanging the UK’s odds of a successful deal with the European Union on the Chequers proposal, a deal framework that Conservatives within the UK’s own parliament have already promised to vote down should trade talks progress to that point.

At the same time, UK ministers are also looking at how to circumvent the PM’s power to lock the UK in a no-deal Brexit, and one of the major opponents to PM May’s strategy is Dominic Raab, the UK’s own Brexit secretary.

If the EU formally rejects May’s Chequers plan, cooler heads within the UK want the PM to make a “Canada-style” deal instead of forcing the UK into an outright hard Brexit. No alternative deals or strategies have been offered by the various parties looking to torpedo PM May’s efforts, however, and the latest Tory conference in Birmingham saw the spotlight highjacked instead by hard-line Eurosceptics that want Britons to undergo a messy exit from the European Union, regardless of the fiscal and economic cost.

EU ambassadors have stepped up their no-deal preparations because of increased uncertainty over whether MPs will accept the Chequers plan. In a private session envoys discussed possible mini-deals to keep aircraft flying and medicine supplies and ports moving in the event of no deal, a leaked agenda showed. – The Sunday Times