Theresa May is set to tell MPs that “the ball is in the EU’s court” and that she can prove the Brexit “doomsayers” wrong.
Stay informed with email updates
The fifth round of Brexit negotiations is set to begin today, and May will tell her party, some of whom have allegedly been calling for her head in recent days, that: “By approaching these negotiations in a constructive way – in a spirit of friendship and co-operation and with our sights firmly set on the future – I believe we can prove the doomsayers wrong.
“I believe we can seize the opportunities of this defining moment in the history of our nation. A new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and a strong and successful European Union is our ambition and our offer to our European friends.
“Achieving that partnership will require leadership and flexibility, not just from us but from our friends, the 27 nations of the EU.
“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.”
The problem is that May’s so weak domestically that many in the EU won’t take her authority seriously. She’s hopped from one crisis to another. And this “ball in their court” comment – it’s symptomatic of her leadership; waiting patiently for the EU to take control instead of taking the lead herself.