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May to make major Brexit speech on Tuesday

Theresa May will make her highly-anticipated major speech on Brexit on Tuesday, a Number 10 source has confirmed.

The Prime Minister will be under pressure to spell out a strategy ahead of triggering formal divorce negotiations, which she has promised by April.

Reports have suggested Mrs May will commit to pulling out of the single market if the European Union fails to make concessions on the free movement of its citizens, although they have been dismissed as speculation.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis are contributing to the content of the address, which opposition parties hope will end months of secrecy over the Government's exit plans.

The speech will come as the Prime Minister prepares to trigger Article 50 of the EU treaties to begin the formal process of leaving the bloc.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on whether Mrs May has the authority to invoke Article 50 without the prior consent of Parliament.

It the court rules against the Government, ministers will have to prepare legislation and pass it through the Commons and the Lords before the end of March to stick to Mrs May's Brexit timetable.

Mrs May's official spokeswoman said: "She will be making a speech on Tuesday, setting out more on our approach to Brexit, as part of preparing for the negotiations and in line with our approach for global Britain and continuing to be an outward-looking nation."

 Photo by Jim Watt