Sajid Javid warned a Cabinet colleague that Brexit is likely to be delayed, a source told The Telegraph as it emerged that nearly a third of the Cabinet now believe Article 50 may have to be extended.
The Home Secretary is said to have raised concerns with another minister during the last fortnight that Theresa May will run out of time to pass legislation needed for Brexit.
One source claimed that during the conversation Mr Javid questioned the Prime Minister’s strategy of publicly insisting the UK will leave on March 29.
The Telegraph understands that nine Cabinet ministers believe Brexit may have to be delayed if extra time is needed to finalise the terms of a deal.
Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, warned the Prime Minister at Cabinet earlier this week that she may be “timed out” if she returns to the Commons with her deal on February 14.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly insisted that Britain is leaving the European Union on March 29 but declined to rule out extending Article 50.
Ministers are increasingly making their concerns public as they seek to pave the way for the UK leaving later than expected.
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, said that “extra time” of a few weeks may be needed to finalise legislation for Brexit.
He said: “It is true that if we ended up approving the deal in the days before the 29 March, then we might need some extra time to pass critical legislation.
“But if we are able to make progress sooner, then that might not be necessary. We can’t know at this stage exactly which of those scenarios would happen.”
David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, told The Telegraph that he shares Mr Hunt’s view and believes the UK will have to “consider our options” if it is a choice between no deal and extending Article 50.