May has been working behind the scenes to negotiate a softer Brexit
The Prime Minister campaigned internally for a compromise aimed at unlocking “a deep and special partnership” with the bloc but had to wrestle with Brexit-backing Tories to secure their support.
Brexit chiefs Boris Johnson and Liam Fox have grudgingly agreed to back a transitional arrangement that would bridge the gap between Brexit and a future trade deal, the Financial Times reported.
Willing to make concessions provided Britain takes back control of its borders, laws and financial contributions
Boris Johnson's friend
May has a vocal ally to Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has repeatedly hit out at those “who are hoping for no deal” and he has been praised by Remain supporters for his “outspoken” remarks.
Johnson’s friends say he is focused on “the end game” and is willing to make concessions provided Britain takes back control of its “borders, laws and financial contributions” at end of a defined period of transition.
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
Meanwhile an associate for Fox said: “Liam is constantly saying that we have been a member (of the EU) for 44 years. So long as it is only for a short period and it is in law, I think he would be pretty relaxed about it.”
So far there has been no resistance from Eurosceptic MPs, as they respect a truce brokered by Gavin Williamson, the Conservative chief whip.
A Tory Eurosceptic said: “Gavin has told people that we will get back control of our borders, money, laws.
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“He’s told us to keep quiet, stay united. There will be bumps on the road but we will get there.”
Mandelson has been a vocal Brexit critic
However, Lord Mandelson recently claimed that Mr Johnson is championing the “wild men” of Brexit within the Tory Party for his own personal benefit.
The Labour peer attacked the Foreign Secretary for being the cheerleader of Tory MPs who want to “pay any price” for Brexit.
The Chancellor has sided with May and warned against leaving the EU without a deal in place
The Foreign Secretary, who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum, recently insisted Britain would be “perfectly OK” if it left the EU without a Brexit deal in place.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The PM reiterated the UK's desire to ensure a deep and special partnership with the European Union following its exit and noted the constructive approach set out by the council in its draft guidelines published last week.”