Under the EU’s phased negotiating strategy, which has been described as “inflexible” by the UK, talks on trade can only begin once “sufficient progress” has been made on citizens’ rights, the Brexit bill and Ireland.
Progress, albeit slow at times, is being made on the first and last of those subjects but the financial settlement is at a dead end, with the UK refusing to accept its legality and Brussels adamant it will not compromise.
Against that backcloth, Mrs May is set to deliver a make or break speech in Florence on September 22nd. Its contents are being kept closely under wraps, but it is widely predicted she will make a long-awaited Europe on money.
How should May play?