United Kingdom to stockpile food in the event of no deal Brexit

United Kingdom to stockpile food in the event of no deal Brexit

But as soon as she hailed that agreement, two key ministers - both hardline Brexiteers - resigned and were followed out of the door by junior officials in protest at what they said was a flawed plan that, in keeping close economic ties with the European Union, would not honour the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Her announcement has raised questions about the role and status of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and his department, which will be left in charge of domestic preparations, such as planning for a no-deal scenario and the legislation needed for Brexit.

Mr Raab will deputise for Mrs May, with both being supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit led by Olly Robbins - just days after pro-Brexit newspapers reported Mr Raab had demanded Mr Robbins be "reined in" and the former was "taking back control".

News of Mrs May's statement was delivered as both Mr Raab and Mr Robbins gave evidence to the House of Commons Brexit committee on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party is also deeply split over what Brexit policy to support.

"To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union [DExEU] and the Cabinet Office", May added.

Dominic Raab and OIly Robbins
Image Dominic Raab and OIly Robbins were quizzed by MPs

The prime minister told MPs yesterday that Dominic Raab will be "deputising" for her in talks.

Mr Raab said: "That kind of selective snippet that makes it into the media to the extent that the public pay attention to it is unhelpful".

Questioned about the change, May's Europe adviser Oliver Robbins said he doubted the change would see her meeting European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier to negotiate directly.

Last week, Mr Robbins quietly purged the DExEU of 50 of its best negotiating staff, securing himself more power in Whitehall and over Brexit ahead of the official power grab. Now we're going to be wasting money on a whole department to prepare for the increasingly likely no deal nightmare.

The new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab told MPs that the move was necessary to "ensure the statute book functions properly" in accordance with the agreement the United Kingdom has made with the EU.

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