British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on November 16. Photo: AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday defend her draft Brexit agreement to leaders of the business community ahead of “intense negotiations” with Brussels in the coming week.

May will tell the Confederation of British Industry, the country’s chief business lobby group, that she expects to strike a deal at the European Council in the run-up to Sunday’s summit to sign the UK’s divorce papers.

“During that time I expect us to hammer out the full and final details of the framework that will underpin our future relationship,” she will say, according to Downing Street.

“I am confident that we can strike a deal at the Council that I can take back to the House of Commons.”

May, whose cabinet grudgingly approved her EU divorce draft last week, will likely find it a struggle to pass her deal through a skeptical parliament.

The Brussels negotiations will finalize a parallel political declaration setting out a roadmap for post-Brexit negotiations on future EU-UK ties.

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse