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FT: May to make Brexit 'divorce bill' offer in Florence speech

Europe
20.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - A key speech on Brexit by Prime Minister Theresa May in Florence on Friday is expected to include an offer to settle EU demands for Britain‘s "divorce bill," the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

A senior adviser to May contacted the offices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders to "offer to fill a post-Brexit EU budget hole of at least 20 billion euros (24 billion dollars)," the newspaper said.

Britain wanted to reassure other EU nations that May‘s speech would include the financial offer, the Financial Times reported, quoting officials involved in the discussions.

According to the report, May hopes the offer will break an impasse in the Brexit negotiations and allow them to enter a planned second phase next month to discuss future trade relations between Britain and the European Union.

Ahead of Friday‘s speech, speculation of a new rift in May‘s Conservative Party has been fuelled by a controversial, 4,000-word "vision for Brexit," published by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Saturday.

The Times said May would call a special cabinet meeting on Thursday, when she would "seek to bind Boris Johnson to her vision of Brexit" ahead of the Florence speech.

Asked about the reported differences late Tuesday in New York, where May and Johnson are attending UN meetings, May told the BBC: "Boris and the cabinet are clear that we have one focus on the European Union."

May said Britain will "stand by our obligations" for payments to the EU, and will discuss them "alongside other questions like citizens‘ rights."

 

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