Theresa May has laid out her five-point plan for Brexit – a day after clashing with European Council president Donald Tusk in a meeting at Downing Street. May laid out her plan in her final ‘Road To Brexit’ speech to an audience at Mansion House in London.
The Prime Minister started her speech by thanking volunteers, first responders and emergency services staff for their work across the country during the current period of snow in the UK, saying their ‘contribution is a special part of who we are as a country.’ Talk quickly turned to Brexit though, with may announcing ‘we are now approaching a crucial moment, there is no escaping the complexity of the task ahead of us.’
May quickly set out her five-point plan for Brexit, stating that an agreement made with the EU must;
1. Respect the result of the referendum
2. It must endure
3. It must protect jobs & security
4. It must preserve our diversity & values
5. It must strengthen our union; bring our country back together
PM May also told the audience that both sides are ‘close to an agreement’ on the terms of a transition period, as well as setting out her plans for the UK to be part of multiple EU agencies, including European Aviation Agency, Chemicals agency, Pharma Agency and more.
However, the speech did not reveal all the facts – May’s comments of ‘This is a negotiation, and neither of us can have exactly what we want’ caused a stir on social media as people felt they were not being told anything new.
This speech is filled with the kind of waffle you pad out a high-school essay with when it’s due in the morning and you haven’t studied. #RoadtoBrexit
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) March 2, 2018
The Prime Minister did however, make clear her position on the single market – ”I want to be straight with people. We all need to face up to some hard facts. We are leaving the single market. Life is going to be different.”
In her speech, May put an emphasis on working together – “We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution. But we can’t do it on our own. It is for all of us to work together.”
The PM concluding her speech with a message for the EU – “We know what we want, we understand your principles, we have a shared interest in getting this right, so let’s get on with it.”
There have been mixed reactions to May’s latest Brexit speech. The Labour Party and its MP’s were quick to make their opinions known…
I’m going to say it – this ain’t no Churchill speech. I’m far from impressed ? even Thatcher was better than this ? #RoadtoBrexit
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) March 2, 2018
The Tories still have no answers to the questions facing the Brexit negotiations. Quite the opposite: the Government is paralysed by its own divisions.
Our Brexit approach can unite our country & put jobs and living standards first – and the @CBItweets agrees ↓ #RoadtoBrexit pic.twitter.com/erldXXJ9Kc
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) March 2, 2018
Thread: The PM conceded we won’t get the exact same economic benefits or frictionless trade – as she had once promised -but her speech was still a grand cherry picking exercise seeking the benefits of the Single Market whilst ruling out being part of it which is impossible /1
— Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna) March 2, 2018
Nicola Sturgeon has posted about a ‘lack of progress’ shown in May’s speech…
The nub. More detail, but no progress. A wishlist plan already largely rejected by EU. And even if it could be achieved, it would leave us with arrangements nowhere near as good as being in single market – and with no discernible upside. We can’t allow the Tories to take us there https://t.co/1Z1zsVWuep
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 2, 2018
DUP Leader, Arlene Foster has backed May’s speech…
The Prime Minister has set forward the basis upon which it would be possible to move forward. The issues facing both the United Kingdom and the European Union are of fundamental importance and it is vital that we achieve outcomes that are sustainable for the future.
— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) March 2, 2018
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has confirmed he is stranded in Hungary, following his absence from the speech.
Alas I have not been able to listen in person as I hoped as I have been delayed by our common European winter weather – on which we will remain in full alignment #RoadtoBrexit pic.twitter.com/X5RoFXpmir
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 2, 2018
Recap our live updates of the speech as it happened here.
What is your opinion on this landmark Brexit speech? Let us know your thoughts and connect with us @speakerpolitics