Theresa May will deliver a world-class Brexit deal by the end of the year, but will be forced to work hard to win the support of the European Union’s 27 member states to secure its approval, according to Downing Street.
Theresa May and Donald Tusk have agreed to work together to secure a ‘world-class’ Brexit deal after a meeting in Brussels.
Getty Images Theresa’s first major test will come as she prepares to unveil a blueprint to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the EU at a summit of EU leaders on Thursday in Brussels, where she will pledge to deliver “world-Class Brexit” after a Brexit vote.
The prime minister will outline her negotiating position in an address at the summit on Thursday evening.
The outline of a Brexit deal that will underpin the EU’s membership of the bloc, known as the “divorce bill”, is expected to be presented by May at the end and is expected at the same time as the EU referendum.
The document is expected as early as next week, but Downing Street said it would not be given a formal publication date until after the EU summit.
A senior government source told the Telegraph: “Theresa will be making an ambitious Brexit deal and the EU will need to back her up.
It will be a difficult task.”
But we have agreed that we will be able to work through it in the coming weeks, and it will be done in a way that maximises our relationship with the EU.
“Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who has been negotiating Britain’s exit from the bloc for more than a year, said the EU would not allow a “second referendum” on the terms of its membership.”
I think we have made a very clear commitment that we want the EU to negotiate a deal that works for all of us and not just for Britain,” he told the BBC.”
And I think the European Commission is ready to do that.
“But May, who will take over as prime minister at the beginning of January, will be confronted with mounting pressure from other member states over her plan to leave the EU without a deal.”
Theresa has a very strong mandate to deliver the best possible Brexit deal for Britain and the rest of the UK,” Barnier said.”
That mandate is going to be tested.
I think that there are going to come a time when the EU has to say, ‘enough’.
“Theres no doubt that we have got to give a clear, decisive answer.”
Britain has repeatedly argued that the EU needs a “hard Brexit” to give the UK access to the single market and customs union, a free trade deal and greater control over its financial affairs.EU diplomats have warned that the bloc needs a better deal to keep Britain in the bloc in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
But May’s plan, which could be backed by as many as two-thirds of EU governments, could give EU leaders the leverage to demand a better “hard” Brexit in the run-up to the vote on Britain’s membership.
May is due to meet her counterparts from EU member states on Wednesday to discuss her plans for the UK.
A Downing Street source said May will want to put the EU on notice that she will be prepared to work with them to reach an agreement if necessary, but also to make clear that she is prepared to negotiate the best deal for the British people.
“This will be her first major speech since she became prime minister,” the source said.
“We expect her to say that she’s prepared to have a fair, fair, deal for British people.”
The UK’s position as an EU member has become one of the most contentious issues facing the bloc following Brexit, with Britain demanding a deal to allow it to keep trading with the bloc.