Theresa May to deliver Brexit speech in Florence
Theresa May will make a major speech in Florence on 22 September to set out her vision for the next stages of the Brexit talks.
In a move seen as an attempt to break the deadlock in negotiations with the bloc, the Prime Minister will restate her wish for a “special partnership” with the EU.
Downing Street announced this week that the fourth round of talks would be pushed back by a week - with speculation it was to make room for Mrs May’s intervention.
The plans to delay the next stage were revealed last week by the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who indicated the speech was to blame.
But a spokesperson for Mrs May said: "Both sides settled on the date for that round after discussions between senior officials in recognition that more time would give negotiators flexibility to make further progress.”
Downing Street refused to reveal the contents of the speech but said it would "underline the Government's wish for a deep and special partnership with the European Union once the UK leaves the EU".
The Brexit talks appear to have hit an impasse with major disagreements over the size of the so-called divorce bill and the future of the Irish border, among other things.
The EU has said Britain has been moving too slowly and has not been clear enough about what it wants.