Brexit negiotiations with Brussels could last until next FEBRUARY to ‘avoid No Deal’, official warns

NEGOTIATIONS with Brussels could go as late as February to try avoid a No Deal, a powerful Whitehall boss admitted last night.

The Department for Exiting the EU’s most senior official Philip Rycroft told MPs it was “self-evident” that Ministers would eventually have to call time on talks and switch to No Deal plans.

PA:Press Association Philip Rycroft said ministers will eventually have to settle with No Deal plans[/caption]

But he conceded that could come as late as 29 days before Brexit Day, in March 2019.

Probed by MPs on the powerful Commons Brexit Select Committee, the Whitehall big beast agreed that talks could go to the eleventh hour before the public and businesses were told to prepare for the hardest Brexit.

Mr Rycroft would only say that cut off time would come “before March.”

However the mandarin insisted the ultimate decision if and when to pull the plug on the talks and revert to No Deal planning lies with Ministers not officials.

EPA Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has backed the comments made by Philip Rycroft by mentioning what a good job he is doing[/caption]

Last night Dominic Raab backed Mr Rycroft’s comments saying: “It sounds like my Permanent Secretary is doing a rather good job.”

Speaking in the Commons, the Brexit Secretary added: “in relation to the timing I think we need to aim for the October Council” for a deal “but there is some element of leeway but we should be aiming for the October Council.

During his evidence session, Mr Rycroft also claimed that Whitehall plans were for a


  1. the longer this drags on the more the eu dig their heels in walk away now


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