So Theresa May is going to make her highly awaited speech in Florence tomorrow. There has been plenty of analysis and speculation about what she is and is not going to include. Here – in a blog post I will update as more sources are available – are some of the best things to read before she steps up to the podium…
- Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes in The Guardian “Time isn’t on her side: Theresa May must set out her Brexit plan this week” – rather skips the Northern Ireland problem, but a good and fair summary of the challenges facing May
- Sam Coates and Bruno Waterfield in The Times “May aims to bypass Brussels and appeal to national leaders” – speculation that May is to try to marginalise Barnier and go straight to Member States.
- Stephen Bush in The New Statesman “Michel Barnier is Britain’s best friend, but the Brexiteers are too shallow to notice” – essentially on why what Coates and Waterfield think May might say would be a bad idea.
- Robert Peston on his Facebook Page – interesting on May’s possible positioning in the speech, going for what has become known as CETA+. Has some points on budget contributions too.
- George Parker and Alex Barker in the FT “Theresa May prepares €20bn EU budget offer” – the leak from a couple of days ago about what May is likely to propose on budgetary matters. There is some debate as to what this €20 billion actually would cover – is it just commitments in the EU Financial Perspectives, or something else too (to do with transition?)
- George Parker, Alex Barker and Robert Wright in the FT “Theresa May to offer stronger protection for EU citizens” – trying to work out if the citizens rights issue can be unblocked, but it seems May will still refuse ECJ jurisdiction.
- Michel Barnier (European Commission Chief Negotiator) Speech in Rome today (Thursday 21 Sep) – crisp and to the point, and outlines the criteria according to which the EU side will assess May’s speech. Should be read together with the European Council Guidelines for the Article 50 negotiations.
- Chris Kendall on his blog “Brexit negotiations: how is the UK doing?” – looking at how the approach the UK has taken to date has not won it many friends, and how May could adjust things.
- Boris Johnson “My vision for a bold, thriving Britain enabled by Brexit” – an outline of what the hard core Brexiteers in Tory Party might want. I fisked it here.
- Rowena Mason and Anushka Asthana in The Guardian “Theresa May to ask EU to be ‘creative’ about Brexit in Florence speech” – eve of the speech predictions of what will be in it, including some chunks of text May will use. Scant little new detail though.
- I’ve also written two blog entries – about how May might change the machinery of government to deliver Brexit, and how the speech cannot possibly please everyone (something akin to the Menon/Portes piece I mention above).
I am going to be analysing the speech tomorrow on n-tv in German, and Deutsche Welle in English. I will hence not be able to do much live comment on Twitter – do follow #FlorenceSpeech, and also have a look at my Twitter list of good Brexit Twitter nerds. Also Michael Crick thinks Barnier will make some sort of reply to the speech – I have no idea if this is correct, but do keep an eye open for that.