September 26, 2017 / 3:26 PM / a year ago

EU must respond to Florence speech in same spirit, says May

LONDON (Reuters) - European Union negotiators should respond to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Florence speech on Brexit last week in the same spirit in order to create momentum in the ongoing talks, May told the EU’s Donald Tusk on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO - British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her speech in Florence, Italy September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/Pool

Earlier, Tusk, president of the European Council, said after meeting May at her Downing Street office that sufficient progress had not been made in the Brexit talks to allow them to move to the next phase of discussing future trading relations.

May’s Downing Street office said in a statement: “At the end of the meeting, the PM said her Florence speech had been intended to create momentum in the ongoing talks. She said it was important for EU negotiators to now respond in the same spirit.”

In her speech in Italy on Friday, May had set out a plan to retain full access to the EU’s single market for two years after Brexit.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison

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