UK PM May to raise possibility of leaving EU before March 2019

UK PM May to raise possibility of leaving EU before March 2019”

Time-limited transition period will last around two years.

This, she said, would reassure people and businesses that there would be no harsh end to the UK's membership. He added that her desire for Britain to continue to benefit from access to the single market for two years after its exit from the bloc could be taken into account, if the European Union so wished.

The European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier described May's speech as "constructive", and said she showed "a willingness to move forward".

Barnier has said before that he would not agree to a transitional deal until first agreeing the terms of the UK's exit.

Mrs May pledged to honour financial commitments made during the UK's membership of the European Union, and promised no other member state would be affected by Brexit "over the remainder of the current budget plan" - which ends in 2020, a year after Brexit.

She said little on Ireland, beyond noting that no one wanted a return to a "hard border" with British-ruled Northern Ireland that could reignite tensions on the island.

Similarly, he repeated the European Union position on refusing talks on what happens after Brexit in March 2019 until Britain makes "significant progress" in agreeing its divorce terms.

The reaction to May's speech snapped a rally for the pound, which has been trading at its highest levels since the day after the Brexit vote on expectations of an interest rate later this year and better-than-expected United Kingdom economic data.

Brussels is also looking for progress on the future of three million EU citizens now living in Britain, with the two sides deadlocked on the role of the European Court of Justice.

She added that "no one sensible" contemplates the idea that there should be trade tariffs between the United Kingdom and EU.

The Prime Minister emphasised protecting the Belfast Agreement and the Common Travel Area between the Republic and Northern Ireland as well as repeating there would be no customs checkpoints along the border. And she did not deal in any meaningful way with the issue of the settlement Bill.

Good Morning Britain Theresa May Brexit speech
ITVBen quizzed Daniel about Theresa May's speech in Florence today

"During the implementation period, access to one another's markets should continue on current terms, and Britain should also continue to take part in existing security measures", May said in a speech in Florence.

She did not specify further.

She urged the European Union to be "creative" and forge a new economic relationship not based on any current trade model.

The PM said: "I believe we share a profound sense of responsibility to make this change work smoothly and sensibly, not just for people today but for the next generation who will inherit the world we leave them".

"Brussels' worst nightmare is a mutually advantageous economic agreement that other Europeans may interpret as a sign that a mutiny against Europe's establishment may be worthwhile", he said. "Now let's see how this speech will translate in the negotiations next week".

The leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May's speech "appeared to be the product of negotiations within the Tory Party rather than negotiations with the European Union".

Manfred Weber, the head of the centre-right EPP group, tweeted that May's speech lacked specifics.

It is understood that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will make an approximately 5,000 word speech flanked by senior cabinet colleagues.

However, the analyst criticized May's response to the EU's demands for a hefty divorce bill, saying the fact that she agreed London had to pay anything at all was going to cause problems for the UK.

A new round of Brexit talks is to begin on Monday.

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