Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill told the civil service to “wind down” their ‘worst case scenario’ no deal planning after the news of the delay come through. Brexiteer Tory Crispin Blunt exclaimed that this represented a “complete betrayal” of the referendum, adding that it is a “dereliction of duty”. A Government source told the Daily Telegraph while the “doomsday” contingencies, Operation Yellowhammer, were being shelved, other plans will stay in place.
Details of no deal planning being wound down emerged in an email from a senior civil servant obtained by Sky News.
The correspondence said: “In common with the rest of the Government, we have stood down out no deal operational planning with immediate effect.
“This morning, at a meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, we agreed that the objective is to ensure we wind down our no deal planning in a careful, considered and orderly way.”
Mrs May has repeatedly said no deal is now off the table, as it was rejected in the Commons.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “Departments will make sensible decisions about the timing and pace at which some of this work is progressing given that the fate we leave the EU has changed, but we will absolutely continue to make all preparations”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is facing renewed pressure to resign from Cabinet ministers, Brexiteers within the party, as well as the DUP.
The Northern Irish party propping up Mrs May’s Government have threatened to withdraw their support, their Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson pointedly saying their support is not a “given”.
With European Parliament elections looming, it seems the UK may be forced to take part in the “non-event”.
It could cost a whopping £109million for British participation in the election on May 22.
Sir Bill Cash accused Mrs May of “abject surrender” and bluntly called for her to step down in the Commons.
She replied: “I think you know the answer to that.”
She blamed Parliament for the delay to Brexit for refusing to pass her Withdrawal Agreement.
She asked MPs to use the 12-day Easter break to “reflect on the decisions that will be made swiftly on our return”.