Theresa May has launched an excoriating attack on one of the world's biggest consultancy firms over a leaked memo, accusing it of "touting for business".

The November 7 memo suggests Mrs May's Government has no Brexit plan and a poor understanding of what leaving the European Union means for industry.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said that the author of the memo is not working for the Government and dismissed the document as "unsolicited".

She said: "It's an unsolicited document that has had nothing to do with Government at all. It has not been commissioned by the Government. It hasn't been distributed widely across Government. It does seem as though this is a firm touting for business aided by the media.


"I struggle to understand how one individual who has never met the Prime Minister or any members of her team can then decide that the timetable is false or different."

UK likely to leave customs union

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, in an interview with the Czech daily Hospodářské noviny, has indicated that Britain is likely to leave the customs union.

Johnson said: "[There will be a] dynamic trade relationship [between the UK and the EU] and we will take back control of our borders, but we remain an open and welcoming society ... We probably will have to come out of the customs union, but that's a question I am sure will be discussed."

It is the first time a minister has indicated the UK could leave the customs union, which prevents the country from forming trade deals with other countries because it would have to implement the EU's common external tariff.

Article 50 legislation drawn up

Legislation to begin the process of leaving the EU has been drawn up by minister, it has been reported.

It is understood the government has prepared a short three line bill to begin the process of leaving the EU - so Theresa May can meet her March deadline to trigger Article 50.

The BBC reported that sources say they believe the legislation is so tightly drawn it will be difficult for critical MPs to amend.

Ministers have drawn up the legislation in the expectation that they may lose their appeal to the Supreme Court, which would force them to consult parliament.

Farage attacks May's refusal

Nigel Farage has attacked Theresa May's refusal to use him as a go-between with US President-elect Donald Trump as "nonsense".

The interim Ukip leader, who was the first British politician to meet the controversial tycoon since his election success, said "petty personal differences" should be set aside.

Number 10 dismissed suggestions that the Ukip leader might become the "third person" in the relationship between Mr Trump and the Prime Minister, insisting that the Government already has "well-established" channels of communication.

Farage, who claimed he had been "bombarded" with calls from businesses seeking his help to strike up a relationship with the Trump administration, said: "If Government policy is to secure a free trade deal with the USA, if I can help in any way make that happen I will do so.

"If they don't want me, that's fine."