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May to make Brexit transition offer in high-stakes

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British PM urge her party to back EU Brexit plan – Spokesman

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to propose a transitional period after Brexit takes effect in March 2019 in a Florence speech on Friday.

As well as to offer to settle EU demands for Britain’s “divorce bill”.

British media said May would offer a two-year transition, including a commitment to meet post-Brexit payments for that period, at an estimated cost of at least 24 billion dollars for over two years.

May’s office said she will “discuss a vision for a bold new economic and security partnership and set out the prime minister’s plan for a time-limited implementation period, offering certainty and clarity to businesses and citizens.’’

“The eyes of the world are on us but if we can be imaginative and creative about the way we establish this new relationship I believe we can be optimistic about the future we can build for the United Kingdom and for the European Union,’’ May said in advance remarks from her speech.

May chaired a special cabinet meeting to discuss her much-anticipated speech, as critics warned that divisions in her Conservative government could make any new pledges largely symbolic.

In a sign of unity, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and other cabinet members are expected to be in Florence to watch May’s speech.

The BBC said May was likely to rule out both a Canadian-style free-trade deal with the EU after Brexit and a Norwegian-style agreement for Britain to join the European Economic Area while accepting unrestricted freedom of movement.

Nan

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