THERESA May’s negotiating hand with Brussels has been weakened after a leak revealed her government’s desperation to strike a Brexit deal by the end of the month.

A leaked day-by-day planning grid showed the Prime Minister had hoped to get cabinet agreement on Tuesday, with a vote in the House of Commons on November 27.

The unofficial plan, which was obtained by the BBC, said the government’s narrative would be of “measured success” rather than “champagne corks popping”.

Mrs May was to have told the CBI: “We have delivered on the referendum”, with other ministers making speeches, Commons statements and TV appearances to sell the deal.

However the timetable was frustrated by continued wrangling over an Irish backstop to stop the return of a hard border in the event of a No Deal.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier told Belgian TV the two sides were not yet “close to reaching an agreement”, with the Irish question still “ a real point of divergence”.

The problems were again debated at Mrs May’s cabinet, as which ministers were told of the imperative of getting a deal by the end of November.

Without one, the government will have to mobilise money and manpower to start rolling out contingency measures needed for a No Deal.

"Everyone saw the difficulties of leaving it longer,” a senior cabinet source told the BBC.

Ministers have been told there may be another cabinet later this week.

After cabinet, Mrs May's spokesman said: "The Prime Minister said she was confident of reaching a deal. She said that, while the UK should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this would not be done at any cost


The government denied the leaked plan was official policy.

There was also bad news for Aaron Banks, the millionaire who is being investigated by the National Crime Agency over his bankrolling of the Leave campaign.

His insurance firm and the Leave.EU campaign he supported face fines totalling £135,000 after breaching data laws during and after the referendum by blurring data sets.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office said more than 1m emails had been sent to Leave.EU subscribers containing marketing for Eldon Instance’s GoSkippy services.

Both firms face fines of £60,000 for the breach between February and July 2017.

In addition, the ICO imposed a £15,000 fine for a Leave.EU newsletter being sent to 319,000 email addresses on Eldon’s customer database.

Mr Banks suggested the newsletter was an accident and there was “no evidence of a grand data conspiracy”