Theresa May has signalled she will not compromise over Brexit despite growing demands for a change in the wake of last week’s election result.
The prime minister is understood to be determined to enter talks in Brussels next week with a threat that Britain is prepared to leave the EU without securing a trade deal.
She also wishes to stick to the pre-election Conservative plan for the country to leave the single market and customs union to allow the UK to negotiate free-trade partnerships around the world and control immigration.
The decision to push ahead with the original Brexit blueprint sparked disquiet among some junior members and other senior Tory figures.
Meanwhile, Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, mischievously suggested it was not too late for Britain to reverse its decision to leave the EU.
He said: “If they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors.”
Speaking after a meeting in Paris with France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Mrs May said Brexit talks would begin next week and that “the timetable for the negotiation remains on course”.