The Cabinet met earlier today to discuss Theresa May’s big speech on Brexit tomorrow. I understand that in a lengthy meeting most ministers applauded the speech. But there is one particular area of controversy, I hear.
Both David Davis and Boris Johnson pushed back against the idea that the UK should make a ‘binding commitment’ to align with EU rules and regulations in certain sectors. The Brexit Secretary, I am informed, led the charge against this idea which the Brexiteers feels go further than what was agreed at the Chequers meeting of the Brexit inner Cabinet. My information is that Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, passionately defended the speech’s language, arguing that this ‘binding commitment’ is necessary to protect current cross-border supply chains. Interestingly, I am told that Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary who backed Remain in the referendum, sided with David Davis in this debate.
We now wait to see whether Theresa May uses the phrase ‘binding commitment’ tomorrow or not.