May Speech Key Points

The main points from Theresa May’s speech. Brexit means…

  • OUT of the single market: “I want to be clear, what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market”
  • OUT of the customs union in its current form: UK will either seek a new customs agreement or become an “associate member” of the customs union. UK must be able to seek new trade deals with the wider world.
  • End to contributions to EU budget: Gave herself leeway on making “an appropriate contribution” to parts of the EU budget, though made clear “the days of making vast contributions will end”.
  • Transition: There will be a “phased process of implementation” to “avoid a disruptive cliff edge”. No word on time limit.
  • Threat to EU: Makes clear she will walk away if Brussels seeks a punitive settlement: “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal”. Repeats Hammond’s threat to make Britain the tax haven of Europe: “We would have the freedom to set competitive tax rates.”

Brexiters will be happy with that. Key battlegrounds now are what the new customs deal looks like and how long this “phased process of implementation” will take. Brexit really does mean Brexit…

Full text here.




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Quote of the Day

Jacob Rees-Mogg on Number 10’s customs partnership:

“It’s completely cretinous… it’s a betrayal of good sense, I cannot understand why government is faffing around with this system. I’m on the same side as Mr Barnier on this, god bless him.”

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