British Prime Minister Theresa May to announce UK prepared for ‘hard Brexit’

January 15, 2017 7:00 pm

Prime Minister leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on January 11, 2017 to attend the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session in the House of Commons. (Photo by AFP)

Prime Minister Theresa May is to announce that the government is prepared to accept a “hard” , a move likely to infuriate embittered “Remain” voters even more, according to newspaper reports.
In a major speech to be delivered on Tuesday, May will say that is ready to sacrifice membership of the European Union’s single market, customs union and the European Court of Justice in order to regain control of its borders.
The prime minister will use her address before diplomats at London’s Lancaster House to appeal for unity after six months of “insults” and rancor between pro- and anti- EU factions.
May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, a two-year process for leaving the bloc, by the end of March.
The prime minister has been under growing pressure to reveal her strategy for the Brexit negotiations and set out the course of the future relationship with the EU.
“She’s gone for the full works. People will know when she said ‘Brexit means Brexit’, she really meant it,” a source familiar with the plans told The Telegraph.
Remain campaigners blasted May’s intention to go for a hard Brexit as an “an incredibly reckless move” which she did not have a mandate for.
“There are millions of people of Britain now getting the hard Brexit not on the ballot and for which they never voted,” said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
“This speech proves that Theresa May is driving the country towards a divisive and destructive exit from the European Union,” he added.
Criticism also came from within May’s own party, with Conservative MP Anna Soubry, who campaigned to remain in the EU, questioning the government’s mandate for taking the country out of the single market.
“To go into the negotiation conceding on the single market and the customs union is extremely serious and very bad ,” she told Sky in an interview.
Retaining access to the single market has been one of the major worries for UK businesses ever since the country voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23.
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