Theresa May to brief Cabinet on Brexit plans ahead of major speech in Florence

Theresa May to brief Cabinet on Brexit plans ahead of major speech in Florence

Theresa May will brief senior ministers on her plans for Brexit before a major speech aimed at helping to break the deadlock in the negotiations with Brussels.

The Prime Minister will chair a special Cabinet meeting after returning from New York, where she used the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to hold talks with key EU counterparts.

The Cabinet meeting will be an opportunity for Mrs May to attempt to unite her team behind her strategy after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson published his personal Brexit manifesto, triggering a round of infighting within the senior ministerial ranks.

In a move which will fuel speculation that the Prime Minister could try to go over the heads of Brussels officials, Mrs May said the final decision on the Brexit deal would be taken by the leaders of the 27 other European Union members.

may and boris

Formal talks on the withdrawal process in Brussels are being led on the EU side by Michel Barnier, who was appointed by the European Commission to carry out a negotiating mandate agreed by leaders of the 27 remaining member states in the European Council.

He has fiercely insisted that formal discussions must come through him, as the representative of all 27.

The Prime Minister will deliver a speech in Florence, Italy, on Friday which will be keenly scrutinised in Westminster and Brussels before a further round of negotiations starting next week in Brussels.

The speech has also taken on increased significance in terms of party management following Mr Johnson’s intervention.

The Foreign Secretary was forced to deny he was planning to resign, while Mrs May faced calls for her to sack him from her Cabinet after he published a 4,000 Brexit blueprint.

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