The British Prime Minister will begin a tour of European chancelleries this week to promote her Brexit plan among her European counterparts. At the end of the week she will meet with the Austrian Chancellor and with the Czech and Estonian Prime Ministers. Theresa May was confident yesterday of reaching a final agreement with the European Union (EU) before October, an agreement that will not be easy after the initial rejection of the plan by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Her Chequers plan, known as the May solution, proposes creating a free-trade area for some goods with aligned regulation to avoid a physical border in Ireland. This is a commitment to a smooth Brexit and to maintain links with the EU when the transition period ends in December 2020.
It is not only the EU that is not convinced. At home the plan has had a mixed reception with two ministers, including arch-rival Boris Johnson resigning. They feel that it leaves the UK still tied to the EU but without power to influence in major economic decisions which would also affect the UK.
While only 13% of the British are happy with how May is leading the negotiations, Barnier has warned that much of the plan goes against many of the basic principles the Common Market established at its inception.