Theresa May gives United Kingdom the "hard facts" of Brexit
05 March, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Kristi Dunn
In her speech, the British Prime Minister also said that both sides in the talks must accept that none of them can get "exactly what it wants", but nevertheless, she believes, it is possible to achieve understanding. "Whilst I welcome the Prime Minister's recognition that we should make the most of the opportunities presented by our withdrawal, now is the time for detail to be placed on the table", the NFU President said.
Stephen Martin, head of the Institute of Directors, said "business leaders will welcome the prime minister's honest admission that negotiating the future U.K. -EU relationship will involve making hard choices". Sturgeon said she was also was not ready to give Scotland's consent to legislation Britain must pass to formally end its European Union membership.
The Prime Minister lampooned the favoured phrase of Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier in a bid to flesh out her Brexit vision.
"But we also need to be realistic; when a country leaves the EU and states that they are going to leave the single market and customs union as well, you can't expect to hold on to all the benefits of EU membership. I don't see how we could reach an agreement on #Brexit if the United Kingdom government continues to bury its head in the sand like this". "Brexit is due to happen in a little over 12 months, so time is short", he said. The Irish Government and EU Commission can not just dismiss proposals out of hand and with disdain.
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald accused Mrs May of failing "to grasp the hard truths and realities" of Brexit. "I think it's absolutely important that we give her the chance to move forward with that if we can".
"It would be my preference to see us remain in a customs union to actually maintain frictionless trade, and I think it is the best solution to the Northern Ireland issue".
"The SDLP is happy to restate the only solution that makes any sense", he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Mrs May of failing to bring "real clarity", stressed he was anxious about her admittance that access to European markets would be reduced, and said she "failed to provide solutions" in particular on the Irish border.
Mrs May backed "new technology" to help keep the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic as "soft" as possible.
Britain and the bloc have promised there will be no customs posts or other impediments along the 310-mile border.
An amendment to the Trade Bill calling on the PM to try to negotiate a customs union with the EU, tabled by Conservative former minister Anna Soubry, has attracted the support of enough Tories to threaten defeat for the British Government. "The fact is that every free trade agreement has varying market access depending on the respective interests of the countries involved". Manfred Weber, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the European Parliament, said May had her "head in the sand", while the assembly's Brexit point man Guy Verhofstadt called the speech a "few extra cherries on the cake".
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