In a major speech tackling doom-mongers at home as well as abroad, the Prime Minister will also forecast a “bright future” for both Britain and the European Union in a bold “new partnership”.
She delivers her landmark address in the Italian city of Florence as she seeks to kickstart Britain’s negotiations with Brussels from their deadlock over cash, citizens’ rights and the future Irish border.
Speaking in the cradle of the Renaissance, she will say the world is watching – and that both sides will one day be applauded by history if they can overcome their differences to build a good future.
It follows a marathon Cabinet meeting yesterday called by Mrs May for ministers to unite around the offer she will set out today to the rest of the EU.
Theresa May will challenge the rest of Europe to display ‘vision and creativity’
While the UK’s departure from the EU is inevitably a difficult process, it is in all of our interests for our negotiations to succeed
Significantly, the two-and-a-half hour session is believed to have agreed to propose a transitional period of up to two years after Britain formally leaves the EU in March 2019.
The UK is likely to keep paying its planned contributions into the EU budget during that time to save the bloc from a black hole – provided Britain wins concessions on trade with and outside the EU.
A two-year “implementation period” is longer than some Brexiteers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson might like but not as long as strongly pro-Remain figures like Chancellor Philip Hammond might prefer.
Government sources last night confirmed only that Mrs May will set out plans for a “time-limited” transition to provide certainty about the immediate aftermath of Brexit day.
Mrs May is expected to state Britain’s ambition for its own custom-made deal with the EU
She is thought unlikely to say exactly how much the UK is prepared to pay, although reports have suggested it could be up to nearly £18billion over two years.
Mrs May is expected to state Britain’s ambition for its own custom-made deal with the EU.
But all eyes will be on whether she leans towards the kind of looser links favoured by Brexiteers based on Canada’s new deal with the EU, rather than a Swiss or Norwegian-style arrangement imposing tighter limits on Britain.
In carefully choreographed scenes designed to display unity, Mr Johnson and Mr Hammond…