Theresa May flies to Brussels to plead for more time to cut Brexit deal

After a series of phonecalls earlier this week, the PM will now hold face-to-face talks with Nato members this evening.

Mrs May pleaded with Angela Merkel and EU Council boss Donald Tusk to keep the chance of a deal this month alive as she admitted she still needs more time to work up a compromise plan to allow the UK to one day escape the Irish backstop that keeps us in the customs union.

She will lobby Dutch PM Mark Rutte tonight, and French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday at Armistice celebrations in France.

But back home her Cabinet ministers are demanding to see full  legal advice on the escape mechanism to get us out of a customs union with the EU in future.

Labour, the Lib Dems and the DUP have all said they will back plans to force her to release the information in full.

Last night Tory MP Jacob Rees Mogg said the information "certainly should be made available".

And this morning ex-Brexit boss David Davis joined the calls, saying it was the "biggest decision Cabinet will take in its time".

He told Radio 4 it was a "complex issue" and the full advice must not "gloss over" the issues.

But last night Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was "not normal" for ministers to do such things – telling ITV's Peston that it was a decision for the Prime Minister alone.

Another crunch Cabinet meeting to seal a deal on the Northern Irish backstop plans is said to have been pushed back until later this week – possibly on Saturday or Monday.

Mrs May wants to get a deal sealed on Brexit by the end of the month so she has enough time to get everything through Parliament before we officially quit the bloc in March next year.


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