Brexit Secretary David Davis is insisting he is a “determined optimist” after a bruising week of EU withdrawal negotiations in Brussels.
Mr Davis will use a keynote address in Washington DC on Friday to stress the UK can secure a good divorce deal from the EU and will not turn isolationist after Brexit.
Striking an upbeat note on the outcome of fraught negotiations on Brexit, Mr Davis will tell an audience in the US capital: “I am a determined optimist. “Because I fundamentally believe that a good deal is in the interests of both the UK and the EU and the whole of the developed world.”
The comments come after Mr Davis said the third round of Brexit talks had seen “tough” discussions regarding the size of the UK’s exit bill.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave a negative assessment of the negotiations insisting there had been no “decisive progress” on key issues and the two sides were still “quite far” away from meeting the test of making sufficient progress for talks on future trading arrangements to begin in October.
Speaking to the US chamber of commerce, Mr Davis will insist that Brexit will not diminish the UK’s global presence. He will say: “By working together with our closest friends and allies … we can tackle some of the greatest social and economic challenges we face.
“But the answer to that concern is not to turn inwards and become isolationist, and that is where a strong, outward looking United Kingdom can play an instrumental role.” The cost of Britain’s “golden goodbye” to the EU proved a major issue in Brexit talks after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker had suggested it could come in at around €60bn.
Other estimates have put the figure as high as €100bn. The wrangle came as Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson suggested that Britain could permanently remain part of the single market and customs union after EU withdrawal, depending on the Brexit negotiations.