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Theresa May says Britain will leave EU single market

Theresa May says Britain will leave EU single market
18 Ocak 2017 Çarsamba, 00:15 While PM promises 'greatest possible' access to EU market, opposition hits out at 'clear break' from Conservative policy

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal


British Prime Minister Theresa May used a keynote speech on Tuesday to say the U.K. would remain outside the European single market after Brexit.

Speaking in London, she said: "We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave. No, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union and it is my job to get the right deal for Britain as we do."

However, May also promised to aim for the "greatest possible" access to Europe's single market following Brexit.

The pound sterling surged in value against the euro and the U.S. dollar after May's speech, but the opposition Labour Party and Scottish nationalists hit out at the premier's claims.

Labour said it was a "clear break of a Tory manifesto pledge on the Single Market".

The British premier told a large crowd at Lancaster House that a final Brexit deal will be voted on by U.K. lawmakers.

She said: "We seek a new and equal partnership -- between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU.

"Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out."

New agreements

Setting out 12 objectives during the speech, May said her administration would "provide certainty wherever we can".

She also said her government wanted to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living in the U.K. and British citizens living in the EU. May also said Britain would control the number of Europeans coming into the country after Brexit.

"While controlled immigration can bring great benefits, filling skill shortages, delivering public services, making British businesses the world beaters they often are, when the numbers get too high, public support in the system falters," she said.

May said Britain would create trade agreements with new global partners, recalling how U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said in a recent interview how Britain was "front of the line" for a deal with America.

However, May said a "punitive" Brexit deal by the European Union would be "an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe, and it would not be the act of a friend".

"No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal," she added.

The Scottish National Party has already warned that Scotland - which voted to remain in the EU - is being "driven off a hard Brexit cliff".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that a promise to give voters a second referendum on Scottish independence from the U.K. was not a "bluff".

If the U.K. government leaves the single European market, it would present Scotland "the opportunity to decide whether it wants to be driven off a hard Brexit cliff by right-wing Tory Brexiteers or whether it wants to take control of its own future," she added.