"UK will explicitly rule out membership of EU's single market," says May in 'hard Brexit-geared' address

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

January 18th 2017 at 11:42AM
UPDATED January 18th 2017 at 11:57AM

The stance was highlighted in just one of the 12 points May offered as Britain’s terms for an exit from the EU during her hour-long speech yesterday.

Prime Minister Theresa May has offered some long awaited clarity on her Brexit strategy, ‘explicitly ruling out membership of the EU’s single market.’

The stance was highlighted in just one of the 12 points May offered as Britain’s terms for an exit from the EU during her hour-long speech yesterday.

Setting out the Government’s priorities in the exit negotiations with the EU, May made clear that the UK would take back control of borders, rule out membership of the single market because of its incompatibility with migration controls and not stay in the customs union.

The Prime Minister also told EU counterparts that any attempt to inflict a punitive outcome on the UK would be an ‘act of calamitous self-harm,’ threatening to slash taxes to attract companies from across the world.

“While I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain,” she said in her speech.  

However, remain supporters have voiced concern and anger at many of May’s points, including that limiting the number of migrant workers will have a negative impact on the British economy.

Sterling was up nearly 3% to around 1.238 US dollars following May’s speech, although it dipped back to $1.234 in Asian trading overnight. It also rose 2% against the euro at 1.158.