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Leaked memo shows Britain has no Brexit plan

Leaked memo shows Britain has no Brexit planBritain has no overall strategy for leaving the European Union, according to a memo for the government that was leaked to The Times newspaper.

It highlighted Whitehall is working on 500 Brexit-related projects and could need 30,000 extra staff. The document described splits in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet could delay a clear negotiating position for six months.

"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 Novenber 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".

The memo showed no common strategy had emerged, partly as a result of splits within the government and partly due to the evolving political situation in the rest of the EU where both France and Germany face major elections in 2017.

May's cabinet is split, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Trade Minister Liam Fox and Brexit Minister David Davis - who all campaigned to leave the EU - on one side and finance minister Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark - who wanted to remain - on the other, according to the memo.

May's priority, it said, is survival and keeping her ruling Conservative Party together, rather than business or economic considerations.

In a response to the leak, the government says it "does not recognise" a leaked memo. A spokesman said the "unsolicited document" came from an external accountancy firm and had "no authority".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he had "no idea" where the report came from. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Grayling said the document was not a government memo and rejected its contents.

"My own experience is very different to that," he said, describing the Brexit project as a "team effort".
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