Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Teresa May.

25th January 2017

Finance
Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Teresa May.

Theresa 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”.

The PM promised to push for the “freest possible trade” with European countries and warned the EU that to try to “punish” the UK would be “an act of calamitous self-harm”.

She also said Parliament would vote on the final deal that is agreed.

Labour warned of “enormous dangers” in the prime minister’s plans.

And the European Parliament’s lead negotiator said there could be no “cherry-picking” by the UK in the talks.

Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce her priorities for Brexit negotiations, including maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic and “control” of migration between the UK and the EU.

Negotiations are set to begin after notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is served by the end of March.

It was not her intention to “undermine” the EU or the single market, Mrs May said, 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.”

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