Observer on Saturday - - News - AFP

UK Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May headed to the Group of 20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina with a mes­sage for world lead­ers: Her Brexit deal is good for the global econ­omy.

The claim is at odds with anal­y­sis by May’s own eco­nomic ad­vis­ers, who say Bri­tain’s best op­tion would be to stay in the Euro­pean Union.

But it’s a vari­ant on her sales pitch since seal­ing a deal with the EU at the week­end on the terms of Bri­tain’s de­par­ture and a po­lit­i­cal frame­work for its fu­ture re­la­tion­ship. In Buenos Aires, she’ll set out what Brexit means for Bri­tain’s trad­ing re­la­tion­ships around the world, her of­fice said.

“For the first time in more than four decades, the UK will have an in­de­pen­dent trade pol­icy,” May will tell lead­ers, ac­cord­ing to re­marks emailed by her of­fice.


“We will play a full and ac­tive role in trade on the global stage, work­ing with friends new and old, at a time of un­prece­dented global in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness.”

The tim­ing of the sum­mit is tricky for May.

The peo­ple she most needs to per­suade of the mer­its of her deal are back in the UK: the 650 mem­bers of the House of Com­mons who on De­cem­ber 11 will vote on whetto give it their sup­port.

There’s every sign they won’t, and that would leave May with a set of un­palat­able op­tions that range from tak­ing Bri­tain out of the bloc with­out a deal - with po­ten­tially dis­as­trous eco­nomic con­se­quences - to holding a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

The visit to Ar­gentina also has po­ten­tial pit­falls.

The per­son she most wants to sell the deal to is US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump be­cause a trans-At­lantic trade deal has been held up as one of the great­est prizes of Brexit.

But the pres­i­dent has crit­i­cised her agree­ment with the EU and said it could ham­per at­tempts to bro­ker a deal. May’s of­fice says she hasn’t sought a bi­lat­eral meet­ing with him. There is also po­ten­tial for awk­ward­ness in the pres­ence of Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man.

MES­SAGE: Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

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