Theresa May calls Brexit a 'great moment of national change'

Theresa May Brexit speech: Prime Minister outlines 12 objectives for leaving EU creating a 'global Britain'

PM says her eyes are 'fixed firmly on the future'

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 17 January 2017 13:33
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Theresa May has made 12 promises about the Brexit process in her speech laying a plan for a "global Britain".

The Prime Minister said the vote for Brexit was "no rejection of the values we share" and that Europeans "will still be welcome in this country, as we hope our citizens will be welcome in yours".

Her 12 key promises in the plan were:

- "Provide certainty wherever we can"

- Laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast

- To strengthen the union between the countries of the UK. Ms May said this would involve devolved powers

- A practical solution for maintaining the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland

- Immigration controls on the number of Europeans coming into Britain

- To guarantee the rights of EU citizens in Europe and the rights of Britons in other member states

- Build on the rights of workers that are currently enshrined in EU law

- A "bold and ambitious free trade agreement" with the EU—not membership of the Single Market, but the "greatest possible access" to it

- Create new trade agreements with other countries. Ms May name-checked US President-elect Donald Trump and said Britain was "front of the line" for a deal with America. She spoke of "old friends and new allies"

- "Collaborate with our European partners" on science and technology while building the UK's capacity in the field

- Continue to work with the EU on fighting terrorism, "including practical arrangements on matters of law enforcement and sharing of intelligence materials", and on defence policy

- A "phased process of implementation" of changes to give "businesses enough time to plan and prepare". Ms May wants a "smooth and orderly Brexit"

On regaining control of the border, Ms May said: "While controlled immigration can bring great benefits, filling skill shortages, delivering public services, making British businesses the world beaters they often are, when the numbers get too high, public support in the system falters."

And she said that if the EU offers Britain a "punitive" Brexit deal "that would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe, and it would not be the act of a friend". "No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal," she added.

But she said in response to a journalist's question: "I think there is good will on both sides."

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