Theresa May finally reveals plans for Britain after Brexit

Minister Theresa May

Pointing out that the British leader Theresa May has already accepted to make some concessions in a speech she gave in Florence, Jensen said that it is also necessary for the European Union to move along on similar lines with its own concessions.

The EU, however, lobbed the ball straight back.

"The ball is entirely in the UK's court for the rest to happen", European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters at lunchtime.

But a lack of progress in talks some 15 months after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum has added pressure on May, who was criticised by the opposition for failing to offer any clarity on what the future relationship will look like. He also said that the United Kingdom will have to give assurances on the Irish border issue and citizens' rights issue before talks can proceed further.

Few were forthcoming in May's statement on Monday, though she did say that Britain might accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during the transition period - an idea that infuriates many pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party.

Bruton told the Brussels branch of the IoD: "I hope more negotiating time can be agreed".

Companies attending will also include Balfour Beatty (L:), WPP (L:), Morgan Stanley (N:) and AB Foods (L:), the government said. The EU said "sufficient progress" is needed on these separation issues before it will allow the start of trade talks.

However heavy-weight member states link any willingness to talk about a transition period of possibly two years after 2019 to having more clarity on the financial deal with the UK.

"We will not have negotiated that deal until, I suspect, close to the end of that period that's been set aside for it", she said.

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Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, however, called for compromise, saying "this will never be a 100 per cent win for one side or the other side".

May will be joined by finance minister Philip Hammond, business minister Greg Clark, minister for exiting the EU David Davis and trade minister Liam Fox at the council.

Mrs May, who appears to have seen off an immediate attempt to oust her after her mishap-hit conference speech, is still vulnerable and has come under pressure to bring new faces into her top team in an effort to revitalise her administration.

"While I believe it is profoundly in all our interests for the negotiations to succeed, it is also our responsibility as a government to prepare for every eventuality, so that is exactly what we are doing", she said.

Following an update on Brexit negotiations in the House of Commons, Labour MPs Pat McFadden, Chris Leslie, Ben Bradshaw, and Tulip Siddiq all pressed the PM on the issue.

He said: "Fifteen months from the referendum we are still no clearer on what the future of our country must look like".

Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said any politician watching Mrs May's speech would have sympathised with her, but if she wasn't a "weak prime minister presiding over a deeply divided party" it would not have been an issue.

Raf Casert reported from Brussels.

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