Disputed memo says Britain has no Brexit plan

Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:15pm EST
 
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By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has no overall strategy for leaving the European Union and splits in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet could delay a clear negotiating position for six months, according to a leaked Deloitte memo that the government dismissed as having no credibility.

The document was written by consultants at Deloitte and leaked to The Times newspaper, which said it had been prepared for the government department that supports the prime minister and her cabinet - something disputed by both Downing Street and Deloitte, which said it was not commissioned by the government.

It casts Britain's top team in a chaotic light: May is trying to control key Brexit questions herself while her senior ministers are divided and the civil service is in turmoil.

"The Prime Minister is rapidly acquiring the reputation of drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself - which is unlikely to be sustainable," according to the document, dated Nov. 7 and published by The Times.

"It may be 6 months before there is a view on priorities/negotiation strategy as the political situation in the UK and the EU evolves," said the document, titled "Brexit Update".

May's spokeswoman said the Deloitte memo was unsolicited, had nothing to do with the government, had no credibility and was wrong because the government did have a Brexit plan.

"We do have a plan, so I dispute that wholeheartedly," May's spokeswoman told reporters. The spokeswoman suggested that Deloitte was touting for business with the report.

Deloitte said the note was intended primarily for internal audiences, was not commissioned by the government and was written without input from any government department. It was unclear if it meant internal Deloitte or government audiences.   Continued...

 
Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London, Britain June 19, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo