By Isla Lamont, International News Writer
Britain will move forward with a clean break from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May declared with a speech given on Tuesday, January 17.
Previous speculations about Britain’s departure from the EU have created doubts as to the seriousness of the process.
Preexisting models for quasi-membership were rejected, with a promise from the Prime Minister that “we do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave,” as stated in The Washington Post.
Concerns over a ‘half in half out’ compromise were laid to rest, although May claimed to want to be “the best friend and neighbor to our European partners” according to the Washington Post.
The much anticipated speech was well received by Brexit advocates, who celebrated this speech as an endorsement for their narrow victory last June.
In October, May’s attitude was less firm, stating that it was “too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU”, according to the Telegraph.
The Prime Minister has since called the referendum a ‘quiet revolution’ in which ‘millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said that they weren’t prepared to be ignored any longer,” according to the Telegraph.
Other European leaders have suggested that Britain should not aim to “cherry-pick the benefits of the EU while throwing off the burdens,” according to the Washington Post.
Further concerns over Britain’s future still remain. In her speech PM May stated that Britain, “cannot possibly” remain within ‘the European single market’, as such a move would be paramount to “not leaving the EU at all”.
She sternly warned that she would continue to push for ‘the freest possible trade” with European countries and that should the EU attempt to ‘punish’ the UK, it would be “an act of calamitous self-harm and it would not be the act of a friend”. As a result, Britain may be left with the US as its strongest trading partner, now lead by the tenacious Donald Trump.
According to the Independent, former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage stated on Friday that the incoming US president will sign a trade deal with the UK in 90 days or less.
The parliament member called the agreement “done and dusted”, saying that Trumps team had offered Britain a “great gift” which could he used for “negotiating with the European Union.”
Other priorities highlighted by May include maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic and “control” of migration between the UK and EU, comments BBC. May concluded her points with a promise that she is “equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.
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