"After all, it was Theresa May herself who said in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017, and repeated in her Florence speech in September, that "no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain, it is right that the government should prepare for every eventuality". Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Minister David Davis all stayed put.
It is understood that May does not intend to appoint a first secretary of state in what has been billed as her biggest reshuffle since taking office in 2016.
Several ministers may receive promotions, while a handful of MPs are anticipated to join the cabinet.
European Union officials have shot back at complaints from David Davis over their reported preparation for a "no-deal" Brexit.
The new minister will provide regular updates on preparation for leaving the bloc without a trade deal and have "a significant budget", the paper said.
An interim deal on Brexit in December however gave May new impetus, and a long-anticipated reshuffle was arranged. Newspapers said he refused to accept a new post, although a source close to May denied that, and said Hunt simply persuaded her.
"Damian Green's departure before Christmas means that some changes do have to be made, and I will be making some changes", she told a national newsbroadcaster.
May first needed to navigate the fraught opening round of Brexit talks as cabinet colleagues battled in the background, with an eye on succeeding her.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says whilst prime ministers do not have as much power to shape their fortunes as the position suggests, Mrs May can at least choose the timing of this "big set piece moment in politics". So did Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a frequent target of criticism over failings in the state-funded National Health Service.
The Sunday Times said the ministers who were expected to lose their jobs or move to different roles included Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin, education minister Justine Greening, business minister Greg Clark and Andrea Leadsom, the government's leader in the lower house of parliament.
Meanwhile Dominic Raab, justice minister and an ardent Brexit supporter, is tipped to be in line for a top job. While Brexit divisions have restricted her options, she is looking to make her Conservative government more representative of Britain by promoting more women, people from ethnic minorities and recently elected lawmakers to leadership posts.
The year ahead promises to be fraught for a prime minister who has lurched from crisis to crisis for months.
May has said she intends to stay in office "as long as people want me to serve", but previous year saw numerous reports of plots to oust her - and many ministers will have their eye on a future leadership challenge.
"I'm not a quitter".
A series of junior ministers were swept aside into Conservative HQ as "vice chairs", opening up space for fresh blood when the job moves are completed on Tuesday; and new-intake backbenchers, including the young MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley, were also given campaigning roles.