Theresa May confirms Britain will leave the single market

The prime minister today announced her Brexit 'speech' and said Britain should remain "a good friend of Europe"

In her highly-anticipated ‘Brexit speech’ today, prime minister Theresa May confirmed speculation about the government plans for Britain’s departure from the EU by announcing that Britain will leave the single market.

May said that, by leaving the single market, the UK will not have to contribute huge sums to the EU and will not be bound by EU laws. While she suggested that the UK may continue to make payments to the EU, May said these will be “relatively small ones.”

The European single market gives UK businesses unencumbered access to 500 million customers in all states within it. In turn, it enables UK consumers and companies to purchase goods and services from across the continent. The single market also eradicates tariffs and cuts costs and administrative burdens by applying one set of rules across all member states.

As a solution, May revealed that she is seeking to get an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU.

For small businesses employing overseas talent, May also confirmed that she wants to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in Britain as soon as possible.

Concluding her speech, May said:

“While I’m sure a positive agreement can be reached [with the EU], I’m equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain because we would still be free to trade with Europe, […] and we would have the freedom to set the competitive tax rates and embrace the policies to attract the world’s best companies and biggest investors to Britain.

“I am confident that we will follow a better path and I’m confident that a positive agreement can be reached. […] It’s in the best interests of Europe and Britain.

“We are a great global nation with so much to offer Europe and the world.”

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