Pressure piles on Theresa May to make "deal friendly" Brexit speech to EU27 in Florence next week

Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit Speech
She has delayed Brexit talks by a week - but will it be worth it? (Source: Getty)

The government has confirmed that the Prime Minister will make her big speech to the leader of the European Council next week, as pressure mounts to end the impasse on Brexit talks.

Theresa May has chosen Florence as the location for her appeal to the leaders of the EU27, with a spokesman saying she "wanted to give a speech on the UK's future relationship with Europe in its historical heart".

He added: "The UK has had deep cultural and economic ties spanning centuries with Florence, a city known for its historical trading power. As the UK leaves the EU, we will retain those close ties.

"As the Prime Minister has said many times, we are leaving the EU, not Europe."

Her speech - which has delayed the fourth round of official negotiations by a week - was originally flagged by the European Parliament's chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt earlier this month when he revealed she was making a mystery "intervention".

In light of the impact it is having on the already-tight Brexit schedule, the pressure is on the Prime Minister to make a speech that counts.

One insider told City A.M. the challenge would be to make a "deal-friendly" speech while being able to follow it up with a "hardline" one at the party conference less than a fortnight later.

"The two will be closely compared," he said.

Related articles