THERESA May's chief of staff Gavin Barwell has strongly denied reports he is planning a second referendum on EU membership.

The Mail on Sunday reported Mr Barwell to have said a "second vote is the only way out of this" to pro-Remain Cabinet ministers.

This morning he tweeted: "Happy to confirm I am *not* planning a 2nd referendum with political opponents (or anyone else to anticipate the next question)."

It came amid reports Mrs May's de facto deputy David Lidington has held talks with Labour over a second Brexit vote.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds insisted Cabinet has not discussed a second EU referendum.

Asked if Cabinet had talked about the issue, Mr Hinds told Sky News: "No. Government policy couldn't be clearer. We are here to act on the will of the British people clearly expressed in the referendum."

Asked about the prospects of a new Brexit referendum, Labour's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told Sky News: "I think we need to respect the referendum. I think there is a deal that can be struck within Parliament that brings everybody together."

She added: "In an extreme situation if that is not possible I share the position that our party has set out that we have to keep all options on the table.

"And that we wouldn't rule out a people's vote at some point."

Former minister Frank Field is calling for Parliament to be given the opportunity to "rank its preferences" for potential alternatives to the Government's Brexit deal.

The independent MP said: "I am trying to ensure we have an opportunity as soon as possible to register our vote on a range of options, including a reformed Northern Irish backstop, leaving the European Union without a deal, extending Article 50, entering into a future Norway, or Canada-style relationship with the EU, and holding a new referendum.

"The results of voting on each scenario wouldn't be binding on the Government.

"But they will test opinion to see if any way forward commands a majority amongst MPs."