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Holiday’s over for Theresa May as Prime Minister set to return for crucial Brexit talks

The Prime Minister has been enjoying a three-week break with her husband Philip in Italy, but she will come back to Number 10 with a groaning in-tray demanding some of the toughest government decisions in years.

Not only will she launch position papers finally revealing Britain’s stance on several key Brexit issues, she will also have to decide whether or not to reshuffle her cabinet in the wake of bitter splits over how the UK should withdraw from the EU.

The third round of talks with Brussels begins on August 28, and the government has to publish its position papers a week earlier. 

Among the issues expected to be laid out are the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland ad the question over the UK‘s involvement with the customs union.  

The papers will show, for the first time, if and by how much Mrs May has been forced to back down from her stance in January, when she announced a hardline Brexit entirely free of EU rules during a speech at Lancaster House.

That, of course, was before her disastrous general election call cost her a commons majority and left her turning to the DUP for help to form a government. 

Despite the humiliating result, Mrs May has managed to cling onto power so far, albeit in a significantly weakened position. 

And that has emboldened some of her senior cabinet members who backed Remain to speak out, after the PM jetted off to the continent. 

During her holiday, Brexit-backing Tories called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to be sacked, after he announced his preference for a transitional deal with the EU including access to the single market for several years after quitting the bloc.

His comments appeared to have been timed to coincide with a policy push by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, another prominent remainer, suggesting the free movement from the EU will continue after March 2019.

Tory Brexiteers including Jacob Rees Mogg have admonished Tory remainers and demanded they “stick to the Lancaster House speech”. 

And it puts pressure on Mrs May to clear out the cabinet europhiles before the party conference in October, as well as those seen to have played a part in the election fiasco. 

As well as Mr Hammond, other ministers said to be on borrowed time are Leader of the Houe Andrea Leadsom, defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, education secretary Justine Greening and communities secretary Savid Javid, the Telegraph reported. 

Among those tipped to come in are rising Conservative stars Jo Johnson and Tobias Ellwood – the junior foreign minister who was hailed a hero after being pictured trying to help PC Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack.  

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