Cabinet committees launched to streamline no-deal Brexit planning

Ben Gartside
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he meets engineering graduates on the site of an under-construction tramline in Stretford, near Manchester, Britain July 27, 2019. Geoff Pugh /Pool via REUTERS

Boris Johnson has launched two new cabinet committees designed to ensure the UK leaves the EU by 31st October, according to reports from The Sunday Times.

Firstly, there will be a six-man ‘Exit strategy committee’, which will be attended by Johnson, Chancellor Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

The committee will meet on Monday and Thursdays, and be chaired by Johnson and Deputised by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove.

The goal of the Exit Strategy Committee is to take the crucial Brexit decisions over the next three months. Out of the six cabinet attendees, only Chancellor Sajid Javid didn’t vote to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

The second new committee, the “Daily Operations Committee”, will meet seven days a week and be chaired by Michael Gove.

It will look to action decisions made at the Exit Strategy Committee, and meet daily until Brexit is ensured. Both committees will also be attended by the closest advisers to Johnson - his Special Adviser Dominic Cummings, EU adviser David Frost and Brexit policy adviser Oliver Lewis.

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Gove told a Cabinet conference call on Sunday that “there will be clear lines of accountability, that XO will agree actions, make decisions and solve problems — and all with specific deadlines”, a source told Politico’s London Playbook.

The Exit Strategy Committee can either to the Prime Minister directly, or can be passed to the Daily Operations Committee according to Gove.

In order to ensure the Treasury complies with the new, harder, Brexit strategy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak will attend the meetings, which are to be held in the Cabinet Office briefing rooms.

The move comes as Boris Johnson’s Special Adviser Dominic Cummings looks to reform Whitehall in order to ensure Brexit delivery. Cummings’ warnings to senior advisers of a one strike policy to leaking was leaked to the Daily Telegraph.