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British PM to make Brexit speech in Italy next week: spokesman

AFP  |  London 

British Prime Minister will travel to next week to make a major speech on Brexit, Downing Street said.

"On Friday, September 22, the prime minister will give a speech in Florence to update on Brexit negotiations so far," her spokesman said.

"She will underline the government's wish for a deep and special partnership with the European Union once the leaves the "

Asked about the choice of venue, he said: "The prime minister wanted to give a speech on the UK's future relationship with in its historical heart.

"The has had deep cultural and economic ties spanning centuries with Florence, a city known for its historical trading power.

"As the leaves the EU, we will retain those close ties. As the prime minister has said many times, we are leaving the not "

May gave formal notification to Brussels of Britain's intention to leave the 28-nation bloc in March, starting the two-year countdown to Brexit.

But negotiations with the are proceeding slowly, as both sides grapple over the extent of Britain's financial obligations, the rights of European citizens and the issue of the Irish border.

The British announced Tuesday that the fourth round of talks, which were due to start next week, had been postponed until September 25.

The decision was taken by "both sides" to allow more time for consultation, with the aim of giving negotiations "the flexibility to make progress", a spokesman said.

European Parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt said last week that the talks could be delayed because of an "important intervention" from May.

Her spokesman said: "The prime minister has said that she would provide updates on how the negotiations were going and be engaged in an ongoing conversation with Europe, and that's what she's doing.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, September 14 2017. 04:48 IST