UK Premier May downgrades Brexit department

Theresa May control Brexit negotiations with Dominic Raab deputising

Civil servants working on the negotiations will be brought together in the Cabinet Office Europe Unit headed by Olly Robbins - who reports to Mrs May - while Mr Raab's Department for Exiting the European Union will focus on preparations for life after Brexit.

Britain's prime minister says she will take personal control of the hard Brexit negotiations, boosting her responsibility in the key talks to determine the country's future relations with Europe.

Raab even seems to have managed the extraordinary feat of leaving the famously doom-laden business leaders - including chiefs from Lloyds, Shell, Morrison's and Amazon - feeling "marginally more positive than when they went in".

Asked about European Commission comments that there were no arrangements in place for United Kingdom and EU expats in the event of no deal, Mr. Raab said: "Well, I think that's a rather irresponsible thing to be coming from the other side".

A shift in responsibility has been under way for months, as Davis was increasingly sidelined by Robbins before he quit - in what one eurosceptic MP suggested on Tuesday was a "coup d'état".

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Meanwhile, he indicated he was still trying to persuade all members of the Cabinet that Theresa May's Chequers agreement was "the best plan to get the best deal".

He added that the lack of a deal, while damaging for Britain, would provoke a backlash among British voters against the EU. This means that the 1972 European Communities Act will only be repealed at the end of the planned transition period in 2020 rather than on "Brexit Day" in March 2019, which has sparked the fury of Brexiteer MPs.

Raab, who replaced David Davis earlier this month, said some "some conditionality" between the £39 billion payment and a trade deal is needed.

Asked whether he would be "calling the shots" in his new job, the Brexit Secretary told the House of Commons last week: "No, it is the Prime Minister and the Cabinet".

Earlier, Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney dismissed United Kingdom planning for no deal as "bravado" - suggesting that Mrs May will have to make more concessions to Brussels.

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The EU parliament as well as national parliaments of EU nations and Britain need to ratify a deal before the United Kingdom leaves in March.

"We will gradually and responsibly, which is the right thing for the Government to do, set out more of the detail of that through technical notices".

Britons will from next week start receiving weekly information bulletins from the government about how to make sure they're ready for a disorderly Brexit, The Times reported today (20 July). "It would be wrong to describe it as the government doing the stockpiling".

Raab also said the government is not bluffing when it says that crashing out of the European Union with no deal would be better than a bad deal.

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