The Prime Minister is expected to plead with fellow EU leaders to soften their stance on Britain’s ‘divorce bill’, saying a continued stalemate would effectively leave her under massive political pressure to simply walk away.
The fifth round of Brexit talks ended in deadlock this week as EU diplomats insist Britain increases its initial up-front offer of £20billion to break with Brussels.
Many EU diplomats suggest a figure of £90billion.
The Prime Minister is preparing for a series of tense telephone calls to tell leaders that their tactics are playing into Eurosceptic Conservative MPs’ hands.
This week hardline Tories called for Mrs May‘s Government to prepare for Brexit talks to break down – and for the possibility of leaving the EU with no deal.
The Prime Minister will beg for flexibility after her conciliatory speech in Florence last month.
One diplomat told the Financial Times: “There’s a view in Berlin and elsewhere that they should keep the pressure on her to be more pragmatic.
“But if we don’t get enough out of next week, that will strengthen the hand of the hardliners.”
Insiders worry that instead of considering a more generous offer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel may insist on removing the meagre concessions for Britain currently on the table.
Experts warn that a deal is a long way off, although draft legislation offers a glimpse of hope that a breakthrough could be made by Christmas.
Brussels has repeatedly insisted that the ‘divorce bill’ is settled before trade talks can begin – leaving UK businesses in the lurch.