UK's May appeals to European Union leaders to signal movement in Brexit talks

Ed Sibley the Bank’s deputy governor said the insurance sector was particularly at risk

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said May "hasn't been able to produce" any details on a possible financial settlement.

"May has to come up with more clarity on what she means by "other commitments" in her Florence speech".

The Prime Minister, who is attending a meeting of the European Council, told leaders that the Florence speech was created to break the deadlock she had identified and called for a new "joint effort and endeavour".

In remarks delivered at the end of a dinner of butternut gnocchi and pheasant supreme, May sought to calm fears that Britain will use its departure in March 2019 to undercut the bloc's economy by lowering standards and taxes.

The EU27 will declare on Friday that insufficient progress has been made in withdrawal negotiations for trade talks to begin as Britain wants, with several leaders making clear they want more "clarity" about how much the United Kingdom is willing to pay in its Brexit "divorce bill". "The clear and urgent imperative must be that the dynamic you create enables us to move forward together".

The European Council will discuss the progress of the Brexit talks at its October summit.

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Senior UK government officials also admitted that the prime minister was "working against a hard political backdrop" at home - an apparent referendum to Tory MPs who were pushing her for a no deal.

German chancellor Angela Merkel gave the PM a Brexit boost by indicating there were "encouraging" signs that the European Union might be able to "take the work forward and then reach the start of the second phase in December". Originally, Brussels and London wanted Brexit talks to move from a discussion of the divorce terms to mapping the future trading arrangement at this summit but the negotiators have not yet made "sufficient progress".

The summit had been tipped as the day members agreed to move negotiations on, but talks remain deadlocked over the divorce bill and the EU's Brexit chief Michel Barnier said Brexit was unlikely to move forward this month.

Weakened after losing her Conservatives' majority in a June election and by failing to rally support at an ill-fated party conference, May needs to keep the talks on the road to silence the voices calling for her to walk away from the negotiations.

"What they [Britain] always say is that they want to continue to have the closest possible relationship with Europe and with Ireland", said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. "I phoned her last week and tried to encourage her to do that, and so far she hasn't", Rutte told reporters before the European Union summit.

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