Theresa May warns of a full break with the EU

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa MayBritain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on leaving the European Union at Lancaster House in London, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

British Prime Minister Theresa May will not accept anything that may look like partial EU membership. That means goodbye to the internal market.

May gave on Tuesday a long speech in which she presented her vision for the country’s withdrawal from the EU.
– We want a new and equal partnership – between an independent, self-managed and global UK and our friends and allies in the EU.

‘Not a partial EU membership, associate membership in the EU or anything else that leaves us halfway in, halfway out’, said May.

For her this means that the UK must leave the EU internal market, whilst Norway is within the EEA Agreement.

Out of the internal market

Membership in the internal market will in practice mean that Britain does not leave the EU at all, maintained May.

The reason is that membership of the Single market means that one accepts the four freedoms, including the free movement across borders, something which is out of the question for Britain to accept.

– To leave the EU, but retain membership in the internal market will mean to live by EU legislation including the four freedoms, without getting an opportunity to determine what these laws and rules should be, said May.

– We therefore do not seek membership in the internal market. Instead, we seek as great an access to the internal market as possible, she said.

To achieve this, the British government must according to her,  work for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU.

Pending transition phase

May has announced that she will initiate the formal withdrawal process by the end of March. The British will then have two years to put in place a new agreement before they are automatically opted out of the EU.

This time limit may appear as a “steep plunge” and to avoid falling off this cliff , it may according May be necessary to have a “phasing-in period” where new schemes gradually come into place.

She does not however wish for an unlimited transitional period for Britain. That would be like being trapped in  “permanent purgatory,” warns the Prime Minister, who instead warned that the goal is to arrive at a final agreement with the EU before the two-year negotiating period has elapsed.

Agreement may be rejected

Negotiations with the EU will be give and take, and the United Kingdom will be forced to compromise, according to May. But if the final product is poor, she believes Britain should leave the EU without any new agreements.

– No deal for Britain will be better than a bad deal for Britain, said May.

She confirmed simultaneously that a final agreement between the UK and the EU will be submitted for a vote in both chambers of Parliament before it comes into force.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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