THERESA May has been told to rein in her squabbling ministers as the Brexit rift in the Cabinet widened yesterday, forcing the Prime Minister to issue yet another “slapdown” to senior figures.

Divisions revealed themselves as May’s spokesperson contradicted her Chancellor and Home Secretary over freedom of movement, prompting SNP Europe spokesperson Peter Grant to call for an end to the “cabinet of chaos.”

Philip Hammond had told business leaders he wanted to have at least two years of an “off-the-shelf” transitional deal to maintain trade after leaving the bloc — echoing arrangements that give Norway and Switzerland access to the single market.

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Last week Amber Rudd said she expected continued access for EU citizens during a transitional period, under a registration scheme.

But yesterday Downing Street directly contradicted their positions, insisting that there are currently no plans for such provisions.

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “We are not looking for an off-the-shelf model. Precise details of what the implementation period looks like are for negotiation.”

And in response to the her senior ministers’ views on freedom of movement, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s position on an implementation period is very clear and well known.

“Free movement will end in March 2019. We have published proposals on citizens’ rights. Last week, the Home Secretary said there will be a registration system for migrants arriving post-March 2019.

“Other elements of the post-Brexit immigration system will be brought forward in due course. It would be wrong to speculate on what these might look like or to suggest that free movement will continue as it is now.”

The SNP’s Grant said: “The Prime Minister is presiding over a cabinet of chaos and she urgently needs to rein in her squabbling ministers, who are only adding to the already significant challenges posed by Brexit.”

May’s intervention came as Cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt and Michael Fallon tried to play down reports of division within May’s closest circle. Speaking at the Passchendaele commemoration in Ypres, Defence Secretary Fallon said immigration is “not an argument raging around the Cabinet table”.

And Health Secretary Hunt told the BBC those running the UK are “completely united”.

But on Sunday comments emerged from International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who said there was no agreed Cabinet position on immigration and that unregulated free movement of labour after Brexit would “not keep faith” with the Leave result.

The very public disagreements have provoked responses from across the political spectrum, with Labour’s shadow Treasury chief secretary Peter Dowd claiming the government has “broken down into farce” and LibDem leader Vince Cable highlighting “contradictions” over key Brexit issues, such as suggestions that Britain may become a Singapore-style low-tax economy if it does not get the deal it is after.

Hammond, who made such claims, seemed to contradict himself in an interview with French paper Le Monde, telling them the UK will continue with a “social, economic and cultural model that is recognisably European”.

He went on: “What we are fully committed to doing is securing a good deal for Britain and for the European Union and we are making good progress towards it.”

However, Glenrothes MP Grant added: “Theresa May’s slapdown and Philip Hammond’s interview are just the latest in a catalogue of contradictions that demonstrate just how out of control the Tory government really is on Brexit.

“We’ve grown used to seeing ministers jockeying for position by briefing against one another but the Chancellor has gone one better and directly contradicted his own previous comments. Earlier in the year he raised the prospect of Tax Haven Britain when he said the UK government could be forced to change its economic model to ‘regain competitiveness.’ Now he’s done a U-Turn.

“Rather than briefing newspapers against his own suggestion that the UK could become an isolationist tax haven, the Chancellor must come before parliament and set out the economic implications of leaving the EU without a deal.”