LONDON — Britain’s future outside the European Union became much clearer Tuesday: It’s so long to the single market, goodbye to the European Court of Justice and farewell to the freedom of movement for workers.
In a long-awaited speech, Prime Minister Theresa May finally revealed the U.K’s hand as it prepares to start EU exit talks. She said the U.K. wants to free itself from EU governance and stop paying millions into its coffers, but still remain friends, allies and tariff-free trading partners with the soon-to-be 27 nation bloc.
“You will still be welcome in this country as we hope our citizens will be welcome in yours,” she said in a speech to diplomats and dignitaries.
Pro-Brexit British politicians praised the speech, and the pound rallied from recent lows as May provided more details of the path ahead for the split with the EU – and vowed that Britain would remain “a great global trading nation” open to business and talent from around the world.
In her 40-minute address, May said Britain would leave the EU single market of some 500 million people, but “seek the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.”
She said there would be no attempt to cling to bits of EU membership. Britain will “bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain,” May said. It also will impose controls on the number of people coming to Britain from EU member countries, abandoning the bloc’s principle of free movement.