During the Prime Minister’s much-anticipated speech on Brexit, she announced that the UK will leave the single market. Instead of membership to the single market, the Government will now, according to her speech, seek the “greatest possible” access to it through a new Free Trade Agreement. Theresa May also confirmed that the Government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament before it comes into force.

In response to the Prime Minister’s speech, Dr Julia Reid MEP said: “Although it has taken almost 7 months from the date the British public voted to leave the European Union; I am pleased to hear that Mrs May has finally confirmed that we will, in fact, be leaving the single market.

“Although much of her speech echoed what we, as a party, have been saying for many years now, I do have my concerns about her plans for a phased process of implementation.

“By the time the two-year article 50 process has come to an end, almost 3 years will have passed since the public voted in the referendum. Despite this, the Prime Minister suggests that we may still have freedom of movement for some time after this date. She also failed to give a timescale of how long this will take; months, years, even decades perhaps? In order to mitigate the housing crisis and relieve some of the pressure on public services we need to take back control of our borders as soon as the article 50 process comes to an end.

In response to the Liberal Democrat Leader’s interview with the BBC following the Prime Minister’s speech, Julia Reid MEP had this to say: “I think Mr Farron was being completely dishonest when he accused Mrs May of a ‘theft of democracy’ after she announced the British government would take the UK out of the single market.

“The EU referendum was the number one topic of discussion for well over a year before the date of the actual referendum, and during this time both sides of the campaign made it very clear, time and time again, that a vote to leave the EU meant a vote to leave the single market. Furthermore, the Government also made this very clear with their £9million pound taxpayer funded anti-Brexit leaflet, which they sent to every home in the UK. To suggest that the Brexit voters didn’t know they were voting to leave the single market is quite frankly an insult to their intelligence.”

 

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