Brexit: Theresa May urges EU

Theresa May has urged the EU to get on with discussing her “ambitious but practical” vision for economic relations with the UK after Brexit. The prime minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr the “right deal for us will be the right deal for them too”. She said she was confident of a deal while accepting the UK could not expect the same market access in some areas. But the CBI said there were some “big
holes” in the UK’s plan and action was needed to stop firms moving. Conservative MPs have largely
welcomed the PM’s speech on Friday, in which she set out what she said were “the
hard facts” on Brexit and the reality that neither side could have exactly what it wanted from the negotiations. While the UK was leaving the single market and customs union, she said she envisaged continued close co-operation in many areas after the UK leaves on 29 March 2019 – including remaining
a member of medicines, aviation and chemicals agencies. She told Andrew Marr it was important to be “straight” with people that life would be different outside the EU but she believed both sides wanted the same overall outcome. “It was a vision that was ambitious but
was also practically based and therefore a credible vision,” she said.
“Th e EU themselves have said they want an ambitious and wide-ranging
arrangement with us in the future… If we look at our future prosperity and in the other 27 countries, the right deal for us will be the right deal for them too.” While the UK would have the right to
diverge from EU rules in some areas, she said it would “make sense” for the UK to
keep exactly the same standards in others or achieve the same outcomes by different means.
Financial services, she insisted, would be a key part of what she hopes will be
the most comprehensive free trade deal ever struck. But she said arrangements would have
to change once the UK left the single market, such as the end of passporting
which allows firms based in the City of London to operate across the EU without
the need for licences in individual countries “If we were to accept passporting, we
would just be a rule-taker,” she said. “We would have to abide by their rules which
were being set elsewhere. “Given the importance of fi nancial stability, we can’t just take the same rules
without any say in them.” Asked what she would do if she lost a Commons vote on remaining in the
customs union – with some Tory MPs set to side with Labour over the issue – she said she would be making her case to Parliament. “What I have set out in terms of a future customs arrangement with the EU, I think, is actually what most people want to see,” she said.
A customs deal that ensured tariff -free trade and the most “frictionless” passage
of goods was in the interests of both sides”she said

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