UK government's Brexit plan: 'Have your cake, eat it'

  • 29/11/2016
The notes were caught on camera outside the UK Government building (@PoliticalPics / Twitter)
The notes were caught on camera outside the UK Government building (@PoliticalPics / Twitter)

A handwritten note held by a UK Conservative Party staffer has been caught on camera, revealing embarrassing details about the British government's Brexit plans.

The note, carried by an aide to MP Mark Field outside No.10 Downing St, suggests the UK government will not go for a deal like Norway, which has single market access as part of the European Economic Area.

"What's the model? Have your cake and eat it," could be seen written on the note, which mentions the 'Canada Plus' model as an option for the UK.

That would see the UK seeking something similar to the Canada-EU free trade deal, allowing access to the EU market without many trade tariffs.

The note also says: "French likely to be the most difficult," suggesting that the French, who don't want the UK to become a market competitor, will be tough in Brexit negotiations.

Mr Field - an influential pro-Remain MP - and his aide were believed to have been at No. 9 Downing St where the Brexit secretary works, before going to No. 10 and then returning to Parliament.

Prime Minister Theresa May has distanced herself from the document's suggestions, with a government spokesperson saying: "These individual notes do not belong to a government official or a special adviser. They do not reflect the government's position in relation to Brexit negotiations."

Ms May's cabinet is reportedly 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.

British media have reported that there is a now sign on the doors at the Department for Exiting the Euriopean Union, reading: "Stop! Are your documents on show?".