Theresa May has a steely, “steely” and “stern” message for Brexit talks, according to her deputy, who was tasked with making sure Brexit was dealt with with with a “strict and decisive” approach.
Key points:Boris Johnson is expected to lead Brexit talks with the EU and the UK at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, a senior source told the BBCA senior EU source said Mrs May would face a tough task getting the British public to accept the “terrible deal” she was negotiating with the blocShe said that “if there was a referendum tomorrow on whether the British people want to remain in the EU, I think she would win that”.
Mrs May was named as the official negotiator for the EU on Monday after the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, announced she had been named “co-negotiator in chief” of the talks with Brussels.
But her deputy Michael Gove is also expected to take on the role of leading Brexit talks on Monday.
He was described as a “senior member” of Brexit planning who had worked on the talks for years.
Mr Gove will be accompanied by two senior Brexit experts, former European Commission President and European Council President Jean-Claude Juncker and former UK Trade and Investment Secretary Liam Fox.
The UK’s exit from the EU is expected by many to take place within two years, with Mrs May set to trigger Article 50 in March 2019.
But it is unclear whether this will happen before or after the UK leaves the bloc, with negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and EU expected to continue well into 2020.
Theresa will have to negotiate a deal that can withstand a vote in Parliament, a number of factors which could include EU law, which may differ between the two sides, the impact of any future trade deals, and the impact on other EU countries, as well as the cost of leaving.
Mr Davis also said Mrs Gove would play a “critical” role in the negotiation process, and that his role would be to ensure that she “remains firm in her commitment to ensuring the best possible deal for Britain”.
“She will need to make sure that the terms of any deal are the best deal for her country, for our economy and for the future of our country,” he said.
“She needs to make clear to the European Union that she is prepared to negotiate in good faith with them and for them to accept any terms that they choose.”
Mr Gave told the Sunday Times newspaper: “I think she’s going to face a difficult negotiation in the coming days and weeks.
It will be difficult, but she will be able to handle it.”
Theresa has repeatedly emphasised that the deal will only be in place after Britain leaves the EU.
She told the Mirror newspaper on Monday: “There will be no deal after we leave the EU.”