January 16, 2019

UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

jhTheresa May has said the UK “cannot possibly” remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”.
But the prime minister promised to push for the “freest possible trade” with European countries and to sign new deals with others around the world.
She also announced Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU.
But Labour warned of “enormous dangers” in the prime minister’s plans.
Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce the UK’s priorities for Brexit negotiations, including:
Mrs May said there would not be a “blow-by-blow” account of negotiations, set to get under way after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked by the end of March.
It was not her intention to “undermine” the EU or the single market, she added, but she warned against a “punitive” reaction to Brexit, as it would bring “calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe and it would not be the act of a friend”.
She added: “I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.”
She said: “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 possible 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.”
Mrs May added: “It would, to all intents and purposes, mean not leaving the EU at all. That is why both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the single market.”
EU leaders had warned that the UK could not “cherry pick” access to the single market – which allows the free movement of goods, services and workers between its members – while restricting the free movement of people.
Mrs May said: “We will continue to attract the brightest and the best to work or study in Britain – indeed, openness to international talent must remain one of this country’s most distinctive assets – but that process must be managed properly so that our immigration system serves the national interest.
“So we will get control of the number of people coming to Britain from the EU.”

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