Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, has said history will take “a dim view” of ministers if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.

Ms Rudd told a cabinet meeting earlier that the UK would be less safe if there was a no-deal Brexit.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has also told MPs a no-deal exit in March “should not be contemplated”.

MPs are set to vote soon on a measure which may restrict the government’s tax powers in the event of a no-deal exit.

The government has refused to rule out leaving the EU without an agreement and is continuing to make contingency plans.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the Commons that ministers would be accused of “irresponsibility” if they weren’t planning for all eventualities.

In other Brexit developments:

  • Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has cast doubt on claims UK and EU officials are talking about delaying Brexit if MPs reject Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
  • German and Irish foreign ministers meet to try to find a “fix” for the Irish border backstop
  • A new government website advising consumers and businesses what to do in a no deal situation goes live on Tuesday, backed by a radio advertising campaign
  • MPs write to the head of the Met Police saying they have “serious concerns” about public order and security outside Parliament, after Tory MP Anna Soubry was verbally abused outside Parliament by pro-Brexit supporters

Mrs May appears to be facing a growing backlash against a possible no-deal Brexit – if her agreement is voted down next week.

It is understood during Tuesday’s Cabinet that Ms Rudd, a former home secretary who was a leading figure in the 2016 Remain campaign, told MPs history would take a dim view of the government if it accepted no deal and it would leave the UK a less safe country.

“We have to face the world as we find it, not as we wish it to be, and we have to deal with the facts as we find them,” she is reported to have said.

While she wanted Brexit to go ahead, she said it was important that Parliament tried to reach as much of a consensus as possible.

“More than ever we need to find the centre, reach across the House and find a majority for what will be agreed. Anything will need legislation.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said no deal would limit the government’s ability to return illegal immigrants to other EU countries.

And Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that those considering rejecting Mrs May’s agreement in the hope of securing a better deal “were like swingers in their mid-50s waiting for film star Scarlett Johansson to turn up on a date”.

<<BBC>>