British PM May delivers defiant message on Brexit
London: British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a defiant message on Sunday, saying the British government will not be derailed from the fundamental duty of delivering the will of the people who voted to leave the European Union (EU).
"Amid all the noise, we are getting on with the job. In the face of those who want to talk Britain down, we are securing the best and most ambitious Brexit deal for our whole United Kingdom," May said in an article published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
The Independent published the result of a new poll on Sunday revealing that so-called remainers who want Britain to stay in the EU have been given their biggest lead since the 2016 national referendum when the leave side won by a 52-to-48 margin, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Independent said a survey by BMG Research showed 51 per cent now back staying in the EU, while 41 per cent want to leave, a 10-lead for the remainers.
May, in her message, said: "The last 10 days have marked a watershed in our negotiations to leave the EU. We will begin discussions on the new, deep and special partnership that we want to build between the United Kingdom and the European Union."
The Prime Minister said talks will now begin immediately with the EU on agreeing an implementation period, giving businesses and families time to implement the changes required for Britain's future partnership with the EU.
"I very much welcome the desire of the EU to agree the precise terms of this period as soon as possible," said May.
In an editorial, the Telegraph said May's biggest obstacle is how to unite her own cabinet of ministers.
May's Cabinet's Brexit sub-committee meets on Monday to begin detailed discussions on the end state arrangements the British government will seek from the EU.
The following day the full cabinet meets at 10 Downing Street, the first time it has had the chance to discuss what the eventual Brexit deal might look like when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
In a clear sign that cabinet ministers are divided on the shape of Brexit and a possible implementation phase, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was widely reported in Sunday's national media saying alignment with EU rules must not make Britain subordinate.
The Sunday Times cited Johnson, in an interview, as calling on May to strike a Brexit trade deal that gives Britain the power to ditch EU laws, warning that failure to do so would render the country a "vassal state" of Brussels.
In another sign that the "Battle of Brexit" is far from over, the Independent said a number of leading political figures will discuss on Monday whether Britain needs a further referendum to decide on a Brexit deal, once terms of departure are known.
The newspaper says Conservative statesman Lord Michael Heseltine, former Labour Minister Lord Peter Mandelson and the leader of the minority Liberal Democrats Vince Cable are calling for a rethink.