TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Just before an informal EU summit in Austria, May showed no sign of backing away from her Brexit plan, shrugging off criticism at home and in Brussels over her proposals for future trade after Britain quits the bloc, the biggest foreign policy shift for the country in almost half a century.
The EU has called her Chequers plan, named after May’s country residence where a deal was hashed out with ministers earlier this year, a good starting point but has baulked at her proposals for a future customs arrangement and Northern Ireland.
With just over six months before Britain leaves the EU, time is pressing and May is keen to secure some kind of deal before the end of the year and ease concerns over a disorderly exit, which could plunge the economy into a downturn.
A senior Downing Street source said she would repeat her message at a meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg on Wednesday and Thursday that Britain was proposing “a fair arrangement that will work for the EU’s economy as well as the UK’s”.
And she pressed her message home in an article written in Germany’s Die Welt daily newspaper for publication on Wednesday.
“We are near to achieving the orderly withdrawal that is an essential basis for building a close future partnership,” May wrote. “To come to a successful conclusion, just as the UK has evolved its position, the EU will need to do the same.
“With goodwill and determination on both sides we can avoid a disorderly exit and find new ways of working together.”