Brexit talks put off amid rumours of big May speech

The next round of Brexit talks have been put off by one week amid rumours that UK Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing an important speech aimed at speeding progress up.

The round was supposed to start on Monday September 18, but it has been put off to Monday September 25.

Officially, the delay is simply because allowing more time will give the negotiators more ‘flexibility to make progress’. However, Mrs May is thought to be planning to speak about Brexit on or around September 21, in a bid to break the talks deadlock and commentators think the delay might be to allow for this.

This comes as today sees campaign groups the3million and British in Europe organising a ‘mass lobby’ of parliament to raise the importance of reaching agreement on expat rights – and, if possible, ‘ring-fencing’ it off from the rest of the issues.

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So far there has been some progress on expat rights – though significant differences remain – and both sides have put out and discussed papers on the Northern Irish border, though the matter remains fraught with complications.

There has, however, been little movement from the UK side on the matter of the ‘bill’ to be paid by the UK, which is the third priority area.

Time is running out before the European Council (the heads of the 27 plus council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker) meet on October 27 to decide if ‘sufficient progress’ has been made for parallel talks to start on the future EU/UK relationship, including trade.

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