No Deal Brexit plans see troops called up, Christmas cancelled for civil servants and Cabinet ministers at war

Ministers will order businesses and families to start preparing for Britain to leave the EU without a deal and release £2billion of extra spending.

But some senior Tories vowed to stop a No Deal outcome – saying it's a "unicorn" that should be slayed.

As bitter Brexit battles rage on:

  • It emerged 3,500 troops are now on standby to help out in a No Deal outcome
  • Tory rebels including Jacob Rees-Mogg saved Theresa May from a Commons challenge
  • Ministers got legal advice on how to revoke Article 50
  • Eurocrat Jean-Claude Juncker was seen falling over at a party

The Cabinet spent three hours this morning thrashing out plans to make Britain ready to quit without a deal in March.

Ministers voted to approve the decision to ramp up No Deal contingency plans after the marathon Downing Street talks.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said: "We agreed that preparing for No Deal will be an operational priority within Government."

Civil servants will work through Christmas to ensure that Britain is prepared for any contingency.

Businesses receive a 100-page document on Friday, with a total of 80,000 firms likely to hear from the Government over the next few days.

Space will be reserved on ferries to ensure that emergency supplies can make it through to the country.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "Cabinet agreed that with just over three months until we exit from the European Union we have now reached the point where we need to ramp up these preparations.

"This means we will now set in motion the remaining elements of our No Deal plans.

"Cabinet also agreed to recommend businesses now also ensure they are similarly prepared, enacting their own No Deal plans as they judge necessary.

"Citizens should also prepare in line with the technical notices issued in the summer and in line with further more detailed advice that will now be issued over coming weeks."

A series of notices issued over the summer and autumn warned families they may need international driving licences and pet passports if they want to travel abroad and called on hospitals to stockpile crucial medical supplies.

The decision was strongly backed by Leavers such as Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt.

But a group of ministers insisted that No Deal should not be an option – and could even quit if the PM ends up taking that path.

Amber Rudd told the Cabinet: "Just because you put a seat belt on doesn’t mean you should crash the car."

She warned ministers they would see massive job losses if Britain left the EU without a deal.

And Justice Secretary David Gauke blasted: "Managed No Deal is not a viable option.

"It's not on offer from the EU and the responsibility of Cabinet ministers is not to propagate unicorns but to slay them."

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Mr Barclay said: "The Government's priority is to secure a deal, that hasn't changed.

"A responsible Government needs to ensure that we are ready for that default option which we don't want to happen.

"At Cabinet today we agreed that preparing for No Deal will be an operational priority within Government."

He insisted the only way for the Commons to avoid No Deal would be for MPs to back Mrs May's withdrawal agreement.

But Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Jenny Chapman blasted: "It is testament to the Prime Minister’s failure in these negotiations that the Government is now spending billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prepare for a No Deal Brexit that is rejected by Parliament and many of those sat around the Cabinet table."

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