UK diplomats are understood to be holding high level meetings across the capitals of Europe to gauge what EU member states would be prepared to accept during Brexit negotiations, in order to prevent UK proposals being flatly rejected.
Diplomats have already met with their French counterparts, and discussions have included whether access to the EU free market will require free movement of European migrant workers, along with judicial oversight from European courts and contributions to the EU budgets.
The discussions are understood to be highly informal, but are expected to inform the British position before the triggering of Article 50, which will begin formal negotiations. Prime Minister Theresa May is yet to set out her ambitions for the UK’s withdrawal, although Cabinet ministers including Dr Liam Fox have continued to insist a free-trade deal will benefit both the EU and UK.
The Prime Minister is also expected to come under pressure to expand on her insistence that “Brexit means Brexit.” A new poll, conducted for The Times be YouGov has found that only one in six respondents felt the PM was handling the negotiating process well.