Brexit plan to be set out 'in coming weeks', says Theresa May

Prime Minister says Government thinking over Brexit 'isn't muddled at all'

Katie Forster
Sunday 08 January 2017 11:57
Theresa May says she will publish more details of Brexit plan in coming weeks

The plan for Brexit will be set out in the coming weeks, Theresa May has said.

The Prime Minister told Sky News the public will be informed of how the Government intends to leave the European Union, but sidestepped questions on whether curbs on immigration would mean leaving the single market.

"Often people talk in terms as if somehow we're leaving the EU but we want to keep bits of membership of the EU. We're leaving, we're coming out," said Ms May.

"I will be setting out some more details in the coming weeks as we look ahead to triggering Article 50."

Ms May also told the broadcaster the Government's thinking over Brexit "isn't muddled at all" in response to comments made by the UK's former ambassador to the EU in his shock resignation message last week.

Sir Ivan Rogers urged his colleagues to challenge "muddled thinking" and "speak truth to power" as he quit just weeks before Ms May is expected to trigger the process of leaving the union.

The Prime Minister insisted she will be able to secure control over immigration to the UK as well as favourable trading terms with the European Union during Brexit negotiations.

In her first broadcast of 2017, Ms May reiterated her belief that the issue of trade versus immigration control is not “binary”.

She said: “Often people talk in terms as if somehow we are leaving the EU but we still want to kind of keep bits of membership of the EU.

“We are leaving. We are coming out. We are not going to be a member of the EU any longer.

“So the question is what is the right relationship for the UK to have with the European Union when we are outside."

Mrs May was asked during her interview on the Sophy Ridge On Sunday show if Sir Ivan's assessment over Brexit was accurate.

“Not at all," she said, adding: “Anybody who looks at this question of free movement and trade as a sort of zero sum game is approaching it in the wrong way.

“I'm ambitious for what we can get for the UK in terms of our relationship with the European Union because I also think that's going to be good for the European Union.

“Our thinking on this isn't muddled at all.

“Yes, we have been taking time, I said we wouldn't trigger Article 50 immediately, some said we should, Jeremy Corbyn said we should, but actually there hadn't been any plans made for Brexit so it was important for us to take some time to actually look at the issues, look at the complexity of the issues, and that's why as I say we didn't trigger immediately but we will trigger by the end of March this year.”

The potential shape of the UK's Brexit deal has dominated the domestic political landscape since the UK voted to the leave the European Union on 23 June last year.

Critics believe it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the Government to secure access to the single market while also demanding full control of the UK's borders.

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