1. ITV Report

May to convene Brexit war cabinet amid EU punishment threat

Theresa May, the prime minister, leaving Downing Street on Wednesday. Credit: PA Wire

Theresa May will convene her Brexit "war cabinet" to plot Britain's future outside the European Union amid ongoing Tory tension and uncertainty.

The meeting comes as a leaked document suggested Brussels wanted to use powers to punish the UK - without having to resort to the European Court of Justice - if it breaches terms of any transition deal.

This could include:

  • imposing tariffs on goods
  • the enforcement of customs checks
  • grounding flights by suspending aviation rights

The proposal is likely to infuriate Tory Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg who are demanding Theresa May take a tougher approach to negotiations.

Mrs May insisted she will be "robust" in talks.

Asked during Prime Minister's Questions if she would see off any "threats" from the European Union, Mrs May said: "We will be robust in our arguments.

"As I have said right from the very beginning we will here noises off, we will hear all sorts of things being said about positions that are being taken.

"What matters is the positions we take in the negotiations as we sit down and negotiate the best deal. We've shown we can do that. We did it in December and we are going to do it again."

The prime minister will meet key cabinet ministers, including Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson to discuss what the UK's future relationship with the EU should be.