Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, said it was “possible, but not at all definite” that enough progress would be made between the U.K. and the EU in the next 24-48 hours to prompt European Council President Donald Tusk to call a Brexit summit later this month to finalize the Withdrawal Agreement.
He told BBC Radio’s Today program Tuesday that Britain and the EU were “almost within touching distance now” of striking an agreement on the U.K.’s withdrawal, but were “not quite there yet.”
Lidington also refused to be drawn on whether May’s so-called Chequers Brexit proposals would benefit the U.K. more than staying in the EU.
Asked if he could “honestly” say the Chequers plan would be a boost to the U.K., Lidington reminded the interviewer that he had advocated staying in the EU.
“As you know […] I campaigned on the remain side in the referendum […] but the people took a democratic decision and I accepted […] that while the result was close it was decisive.”
When the question was put to him again, Lidington replied: “The people took a decision having had an argument about the economics but also about the sovereignty presented to them.”