DAvid Cameron has set up a new unit of top civil servants to oversee Britain leaving the European Union.
The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman announced this morning the new team of experts will be drawn together from the civil service and headed by senior Conservative Oliver Letwin.
Mr Cameron chaired a meeting of the cabinet this morning in Downing Street with Vote Leave’s chair and justice secretary Michael Gove in attendance.
However because it was not a specific political cabinet, Boris Johnson was not allowed to sit in.
She said: “The Prime Minister has proposed, and the cabinet supported, the establishment of a new unit to lead intensive civil service work on the issues that will need to be worked through in order to present options and advice to a new Prime Minister and a new cabinet.”
This group, which will report to the cabinet, will not officially call for the triggering of Article 50, which would officially mark the beginning of the exit process.
It is understood that is a decision for the next Prime Minister, likely to be in post before October.
However the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said the current Government should make a start to present options to a new leader.
The decision to assemble civil servants including people from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Treasury within a single unit is likely to draw attention to the fact no formal contingency plan was put in place by the Government before the referendum.
Britain has been blocked out of talks held by all other 27 member states of the EU Council who meet in Brussels on Wednesday morning for a session on the referendum.
The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said Mr Cameron’s priority for Wednesday was always to chair Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons and Britain and a number European leaders had agreed it was a sensible approach for him not to be part of talks.
Later today the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will meet the US Secretary of State John Kerry who has flown into the UK for emergency talks on Britain’s decision to leave the EU.