Highlights of Theresa May’s Brexit speech


‘We are leaving the European Union but we are not leaving Europe,’ Theresa May said in her speech today.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech today outlined the key points that her government is planning for Brexit negotiations. She delivered a good speech, expressing that she wants the UK to be ‘a truly global Britain.’ She reassured the nation that the UK will have a ‘continuous friendship’ with the European Union.

Timeline intact:

  • Trigger Article 50 in March 2017
  • 2 year negotiation process
  • Implementation from 2019

The UK does not want to undermine the single market, but wants it to prosper. Trade is not zero sum. More trade means everyone prospers. EU should push for best possible deal with UK because it’s mutually beneficial. Punitive sanctions are not the way forward. Punishing Britain would cause damage to the EU economy too. May wants to still be an important voice in Europe, and leaving an economic union shouldn’t jeopardise that.


She was asked why she now feels that Brexit will be good for UK, when she campaigned against it before?

She pointed to economic data (which has been good). She talks about a ‘confident’ future with trade at the centre of it.

Is there a still preferential access to EU nationals? Or is it a level playing field?

Yes and no – focus on skills, not provenance.

Can you confirm you rule out any financial contribution to the EU. What is your threat? Become a tax haven?

May said that there may be aspects that we want to be members of, that we might contribute for. We don’t have a weapon. This isn’t a war, so why make threats? We are looking to make a good deal for the UK, but this will also be good for the EU.

Overall, this speech was not so much about the outlining of a plan, but the outlining of the core values and vision that May has for the country. What comes across is that there is real steel in the PM, which markets will like. They won’t have liked that there is little detail to her objectives. She is putting the ball in the EU’s court by telling them what is important to the UK (and also the EU). These are not the words of someone who doesn’t look like they know what they are doing. She is very confident.

Key point: There will be a vote by parliament once the full deal is on the table.

It is clear May doesn’t believe in hard or soft Brexit. She believes in Clean Brexit. But let’s be clear…This is pretty much a hard Brexit!

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