Theresa May’s Brexit Speech Calls For Clean Break With EU
The UK’s Prime Minister outlined Britain’s exit from the European Union in her speech yesterday. Here are some key takeaways from her speech:
“The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, and my job is to get the right deal for Britain as we do,” she said.
1. She hopes to complete a final deal with the EU by March 2019
“We seek a new and equal partnership — between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU,” Mrs May said. “Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half in, half out.”
2. She wants Britain to leave Europe’s single market
“This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states. It should give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets — and let European businesses do the same in Britain. But I want to be clear. What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.”
There had been some speculation over whether she would try and remain in EU’s single market, since some no EU countries like Norway can be members EU’s single market as long as they meet certain conditions.
3. She also said that Britain shouldn’t be punished for the decision. Since the vote, some European partners have been saying that the country should be punished in order to make the repercussions of leaving the EU clear to other member countries.
“I must be clear. Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbour to Europe. Yet, I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path. That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe.”
4. She will restrict the number of immigrants coming in from the EU, but wasn’t clear on how.
“Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver.”
As for the rights of the EU citizens already living in the the UK, she said that that she wants to guarantee their status, but needs a reciprocal deal for UK citizens living in the EU.
5. She will put the final deal that the UK and the EU agree on, to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force.
She hinted that there would be no “unlimited transitional status”, which would leave the UK in “some kind of permanent political purgatory”. However, there will be a phased process of implementation after the deal has been reached, where each element of it will be introduced.
Critics say that May’s speech points to a hard Brexit, and one that is unrealistic.
Also Read: 5 Things to Know About Theresa May