In an address to the Commons today the Prime Minister will say she expects the EU to formally agree the second phase of talks at a Brussels summit this week, and argue there is a “new sense of optimism” around Brexit.
With some Tory Brexiteers expressing concern that the UK has agreed to pay a £39 billion exit bill, let the European Court of Justice have a legal role for a further eight years, and accepted “full alignment” with the EU on issues that impact on Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister defend her approach.
“This is not about a hard or a soft Brexit,” she is expected to say.
“The arrangements we have agreed to reach the second phase of the talks are entirely consistent with the principles and objectives that I set out in my speeches in Florence and at Lancaster House. I know that some doubted we would reach this stage.
“I have always been clear that this was never going to be an easy process.
“It has required give and take for the UK and the EU to move forwards together, and that is what we have done.”
Mrs May will add: “Of course, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. But there is, I believe, a new sense of optimism now in the talks and I fully hope and expect that we will confirm the arrangements I have set out today in the European Council later this week.
“In doing so we can move on to building the bold new economic and security relationships that can underpin the new deep and special partnership we all want to see.
“A partnership between the European Union and a sovereign United Kingdom that has taken control of its borders, money and laws once again.”