London, July 23: British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is having a torrid time steering the Brexit ship towards its goal, will preside over a cabinet meeting in North-east England this summer to mobilise public support for her Chequers Brexit plan, which has been widely criticised and even rocked her own Conservative Party.
According to Guardian, the visit scheduled for Monday, July 23, was to show the UK government's support for the "northern powerhouse" concept and May was set to confirm that funds worth £780 million were being kept aside for a planned east coast mainline upgrade and that the 'North of Tyne' deal was to proceed.
Under this deal, regions like the north and Midlands will get investments worth multibillions to reduce the growing economic pressure on London.
May was also set to make use of the opportunity to defend the Brexit proposals that have not gone down well with her Conservative supporters and the general public. A number of high-profile Conservative government officials resigned recently accusing the May government of not fulfilling the Brexit dream the way it was supposed to be.
On Sunday, July 22, some top Conservative members sought that a second referendum could be the only option to bridge the growing gap over ways to handle the sensitive issue, the Guardian report added. Former Brexit secretary David Davis said in an interview that there would have to be a "reset" when the government would have to give up Chequers and start afresh, the report added.
On July 17, May narrowly survived an attempt by pro-European Conservative MPs to keep Britain in a customs union with the European Union, the bloc the UK is eyeing to leave by next March. May, who has maintained that Britain must leave the customs union and have its own trade policy, won the polling in parliament by just six votes (307 to 301). It showed that her grip over the Brexit drama is waning fast.
Current Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab meanwhile lashed out at Brussels accusing it of being irresponsible for "flagging up" risks to EU nationals living in the UK from a no-deal Brexit, the Guardian report said.
May looked to North-east ahead of June 2017 election
For May, this is not the first time she is looking at the North-east for a breather. Ahead of the snap election in June 2017, May took her campaign to the North-east to woo traditional voters of the Opposition Labour Party pledging that she was working to reach out to people abandoned by the Labour Party.
It was also believed that May wanted to mobilise support from pro-Leave Labour Party voters to strengthen her case for Brexit.