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>> After months of Brexit talks that have made little progress and amid deepening rifts in the conservative party, British Prime Minister Theresa May, will on Friday try to grab back the agenda in the Brexit negotiations and reassert her authority. I'm Liz Piper, Chief Political Correspondent for the UK, for Reuters.
Theresa May has been largely silent on the issue of Brexit for the last couple of weeks sticking to her script that we want a deep and special relationship with the EU once we leave. But that silence has allowed a number of voices to raise to the surface. Her speech on Friday has become even more of a challenge for the British Prime Minister.
Just days before she is meant to take the stage in Florence, her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson writes a 4,000 word article challenging some of her beliefs of how the Brexit negotiations should go and how the future relationship with the EU should be. He made one very vital comment, that Britain should not pave access to the EU single market post-Brexit.
That goes against what May herself has said when she put out the option that we would pay in to get that kind of frictionless trade that we enjoy now. His article has also stood the rumors that he is going to launch a leadership bid to unseat Theresa May.
Whether this is true or not is anyone's guess. But what it has done is again put the focus on the rifts in government as to how to approach these talks and what kind of relationship we want to see afterwards. Some civil servants I have spoken to have said that the negotiations have all but stalled, largely because there's no policy decisions being made at the top.
They've set out very much what we want to see, but they still feel the Britain lacks an end game. And they're still trying to figure out where we're going with these negotiations.