0427 GMT January 23, 2019
The Sun newspaper said in a report on Saturday that ministers were divided mainly along two lines of policy, namely preparing for a no-deal Brexit, in which Britain leaves the EU on March 29, 2019 without an agreement with the bloc, or planning a new referendum, which would allow Britain to stop Brexit and remain a member of the EU.
The report said work and pension minister Amber Rudd and finance and treasury minister Philip Hammond were promoting the idea of a second Brexit referendum while interior minister Sajid Javid and three other senior cabinet members insisted that the government should work on its plans for a no-deal Brexit, Presstv reported.
May has sparked a huge political chaos in Britain since she decided to postpone a planned parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal last week. Many expect that she would fail in her post-Christmas bid to gain parliament’s approval for the deal, meaning that Britain would have only over two months to decide which way to take on Brexit.
Advocates of a no-deal Brexit believe Britain will be better-off in the long-run if it leaves the EU with no deal although they admit the economic shocks that might follow a disorderly exit.
Supporters of a second Brexit referendum say the British people should have a fresh chance to decide on the country’s departure from the EU now that they have known the real costs of leaving the bloc after more than 40 years. The pro-referendum camp has largely ignored warnings that a second vote could be highly divisive considering that the pro-Brexit camp won 52 to 48 in the first referendum in June 2016.
However, a former member of May’s cabinet said Saturday that the government’s main policy on the Brexit deal was to downgrade the role of the parliament as much as possible. Jo Johnson said May was trying to delay the vote on her Brexit deal until the very last minute to force the lawmakers in the House of Commons to accept her deal or face the prospects of a no-deal Brexit.