Theresa May will call for flexibility from the EU over Brexit talks in a House of Commons statement today, as negotiations resume in Brussels.
The prime minister is due to appear before MPs to update them on her Florence speech, and will use the opportunity to tell the EU “the ball is in their court”.
After a mishap-laden conference speech and a failed coup attempt against her leadership, Mrs May will be hoping that Brexit negotiations will progress to the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU.
“Achieving that partnership will require leadership and flexibility, not just from us but from our friends, the 27 nations of the EU,” Mrs May will tell MPs.
“And as we look forward to the next stage, the ball is in their court. But I am optimistic we will receive a positive response.
“Because what we are seeking is not just the best possible deal for us – but also the best possible deal for our European friends too.”
Talks will only move on if European leaders decide sufficient progress has been made on the so-called divorce bill, citizens’ rights and the border between the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The EU is due to make a decision on that this month when leaders meet on October 19-20, but the expectation is it will not play in Britain’s favour.
While Mrs May’s Florence speech was received positiviely by EU leaders but has not resulted in a breakthrough.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, said last month that it would take a “miracle” if talks are to progress to trade, while the European Parliament passed a non-binding motion declaring that more needs to be done.
Mrs May did received a boost from Denmark’s finance minister, however, who called for “more speedy process” for the negotiations.
Kristian Jensen said he believed both sides should be ready to move the talks on to the next phase – covering the future trading relationship – claiming “we are now on the same page”.
Separately the prime minister will also attempt to reassure business leaders that the Brexit process is on track as she hosts a meeting with leading industry figures on Monday.
She will be joined by senior colleagues including Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis at the meeting in Downing Street.
Representatives from firms including Aston Martin, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Vodafone will be among those attending the meeting of the Business Advisory Council.
Meanwhile, away from Brexit, Mrs May is facing calls to sack disloyal Cabinet figures, and make room for some of the party’s younger rising stars.