EU chiefs were told to “get serious” over the search for a Brexit deal last night.
The PM said she would take her fight to Brussels after her divorce blueprint was given a unanimous seal of approval by her Cabinet.
Theresa May has refused to rule out making it easier for EU citizens to come to the UK than people from other parts of the world after Brexit.
Speaking at Chequers, she said: “Free movement from the European Union will end. What I’ve said before and will continue to say is we recognise that people will still want to carry on travelling to Europe and Europeans travelling to the UK.
“People still want to have opportunities in each other’s countries as we have for people from around the rest of the world.”
Mrs May said she would decide later whether to give preferential treatment to EU citizens but stressed she would only accept what is in the best national interest for the UK.
She added: “From the soundings I’ve had so far, there is a willingness to sit down to talk about this and a recognition that, actually we now are in the stage where we need to agree what the future relationship’s going to be.
“I’ve always said I think a future partnership is good for us, can be good for the EU too.”
After weeks of damaging briefings from within the Cabinet, the Prime Minister said the Cabinet had now agreed collectively responsibility.
“Collective responsibility has returned and what I felt, what I had from people sitting around that table, was a real sense that we move forward together.”