Monday began with the EU and Downing Street trading sporting analogies and ended with talk that the government is prepared to take Britain out of the bloc without a deal in place.
What did Theresa May say to MPs?
Addressing Parliament on its first day back after the conference season recess, the Prime Minister said the UK could operate as an “independent trading nation” after #Brexit, again raising the possibility of crashing out of the EU without a new agreement.
Speaking as the fifth round of Brexit talks began in Brussels, May called on the EU to accept the concessions she made last month in Florence and move talks on to a future trade deal. She said: “The ball is in their court.”
May called for a “new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and a strong and successful European Union” and told MPs she was “optimistic” she would get a positive response from the other 27 member states.
May said she would prefer a transition deal to avoid a cliff-edge Brexit – but reiterated that Britain will be leaving both the single market and customs union in March 2019.
Tory Brexiters were left “up in arms” when the Prime Minister seemed to confirm the UK would still be bound by European Court of Justice decisions during a Brexit implementation period, said the BBC’s Norman Smith.