Theresa May urges the EU  to show more flexibility in talks

Theresa May urges the EU to show more flexibility in talks

Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union to show more flexibility in talks on a future relationship after Brexit.

In a much-anticipated speech, May set out ambitions for a tailor-made free trade deal that would include financial services and said Britain would aim for associate membership of EU regulators covering chemicals, medicines and aerospace.

Jettisoning an earlier strident view that Britain could walk away from the talks, May appealed to the EU to work together to solve some of the more difficult Brexit problems, including over Ireland, where some fear the return of a“hard border” with the British province of Northern Ireland after Brexit.

But by proposing that Britain accept some EU rules and regulations and that the European Court of Justice continue to play a role in British law, May also risked alarming some campaigners who fear she will preside over Brexit in name only.

“We all need to face up to some hard facts,” May told ambassadors and business leaders in the Mansion House, the 18th century official home of the Lord Mayor of London in the heart of the capital’s financial district.

“Neither of us can have exactly what we want ... So we need to strike a new balance.”

It was, she added, time to be“straight” with people over what was achievable, some 20 months after Britain voted to leave the EU and her government began to try to unravel more than 40 years of integration. Britain is due to leave on March 29, 2019.

The EU’s main negotiator, Michel Barnier, welcomed the“clarity” May offered and her recognition that Britain faces“trade-offs”. Big business echoed his words and even some Brexit campaigners praised the prime minister for her pragmatism.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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