British government will not publish Brexit proposals ahead of key EU summit

Theresa May insists there will be 'a lot of activity' in Brexit negotiations over the coming weeks

British government will not publish Brexit proposals ahead of key EU summit

Theresa May. Picture by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

British government plans for Brexit will not be published ahead of a crucial EU meeting later this month.

It has emerged Theresa May's cabinet will hold an 'away day' in July at the prime minister's country house to discuss the draft proposals before they're publicly released.

Brexit talks will be a key focus when EU leaders meet in Brussels at the end of the month.

While the final deadline for a deal is October, EU leaders - including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste - have insisted they need to see 'substantial progress' in talks before the June meeting.

Speaking in Canada, Theresa May insisted there will be 'a lot of activity' in Brexit negotiations over the coming weeks.

In comments quoted by BBC, Mrs May said: "I'll be going to the June European Council where we'll be talking about finalising the withdrawal agreement, but also pressing on the future relationship.

"After that, I'll be bringing my ministers together for an away day at Chequers to finalise the white paper we're going to be publishing."

Brexit secretary David Davis previously described the white paper as the "most significant publication on the EU since the referendum”.

It comes as concern grows over British plans for a temporary 'backstop' solution for the Irish border if no final deal is reached between the UK and EU.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier argued: "The temporary backstop is not in line with what we want or what Ireland and Northern Ireland want and need."

“This has to be a backstop that provides a guarantee under all circumstances... unless and until we find a solution.”

Sinn Fein's David Cullinane said it is not good enough to have any delays in reaching agreement.

He observed: "The British Prime Minister, it seems, is more concerned with keeping the hard Brexiteers on board than ensuring we have a solution for Ireland.

"We cannot allow June to come and go again with no deal, and again with all of the uncertainty that we've seen up to now continue up until October. That's not good enough."