A Brexit deal with Brussels can be struck in less than two months’ time, Europe’s chief negotiator said yesterday, as Theresa May sent her ministers on a final drive to sell Chequers to her divided party.

Amid signs of some optimism on both sides of the Channel, Michel Barnier said that a withdrawal deal was “possible” within six to eight weeks, causing a surge in the pound’s value.

With claims yesterday, however, that up to 80 Tory MPs would be prepared to vote down a deal based on the Chequers agreement, Downing Street is to begin a concerted drive to reduce opposition.

The prime minister has instructed every cabinet minister to tour the country before the Conservative Party conference this month to hammer home the…

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