Theresa May is reportedly preparing to renege on a pledge to leave the European Union on 29 March in order to reach a compromise with Remain MPs. The government was defeated in a Commons vote last week when MPs backed an amendment to allow them a meaningful vote on the Brexit deal.

Tory Remainers including Dominic Grieve, Kenneth Clarke and Anna Soubry rebelled, which led to the government losing by 309 votes to 305.

In order to avert a second embrassment at the hands of pro-EU MPs, the prime minister is weighing up a deal that would see the House given power to delay exiting as long as all 27 EU member states agree.

The move will pit May against Leave cabinet members Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the Foreign Secretary and Agriculture Secretary respectively, who in a secret letter to the PM said "preparations are not proceeding with anything like sufficient energy."

Commenting on the rumours May will bow to pressure, Labour's shadow Brexit minister Sir Keir Starmer said: "Rumours that PM will now U-turn on gimmick exit day amendment: forced to get a Tory MP to amend her own amendment before its put to the vote."

On Friday (15 December), Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, announced the second wave of negotiation talks could begin after a divorce bill was agreed. It means David Davis will soon start discussions on trade deals he believes will resemble a "Canada plus-plus-plus" arrangement.

The prime minister reportedly received a round of applause from European leaders at a dinner in Brussels last week. It came after Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, said of her: "She is our colleague. Britain is a member state. We are not only trying to be, but we are polite and friendly people."