May confronts party rebels as EU prepares Brexit summit
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to seal business support for her Brexit deal with the European Union on Monday, but remained on a collision course with a group of lawmakers seeking to unseat her.
The draft agreement has triggered an avalanche of criticism in Britain and left May fighting to keep her job, even as she races to firm up the final deal before a crucial EU summit.
May told business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry that “an intense week of negotiations” lay ahead to finalise the framework for future relations between Britain and the bloc before EU leaders meet on Sunday to rubber-stamp the deal.
Last week — after a year and a half of tense negotiations — Britain and the EU agreed on the terms of their divorce.
But, while the 585-page, legally binding withdrawal agreement is complete, Britain and the EU still need to flesh out their far less detailed seven-page declaration on future relations.
May told her business audience Monday that the “core elements” of the future relationship were in place.
She said the deal “fulfils the wishes of the British people” to leave the EU, by taking back control of the U.K.’s laws, money, and borders.
May confirmed the government’s plan to end the automatic right of EU citizens to live and work in the U.K., saying Britain’s future immigration policy will be based on skills, rather than nationality.