Jo Coburn introduces live coverage of Theresa May's Brexit speech. Jo is joined by Theresa Villiers, Barry Gardiner and Damian Green to discuss the prime minister's speech.
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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
Theresa May says the UK won't be "half-in, half-out"
of the EU, as she sets out her Brexit
The Prime Minister is due to flesh out her Brexit plan in a speech
We'll bring you the speech live and uninterrupted here on BBC Two.
After months of deliberation, the PM is expected to say the UK
will leave the EU single market in order to take back control
But how much freedom will we have to strike our own trade deals
with countries like China, India and the United States?
We'll have detailed analysis and political reaction.
For six months since the referendum, Theresa May has stuck to her phrase
Today, we find out what that really means.
In around 15 minutes, the Prime Minister will make
a speech to an audience of diplomats in Lancaster House, central London,
which Number Ten says will set out 12 priorities for the forthcoming
We're expecting the speech to last around 45 minutes, and we'll bring
you all of her speech, live and uninterrupted.
With me for our specially-extended programme today are the Conservative
Leave campaigner and former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers.
And Labour's Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner.
First, let's get the latest from our assistant political editor
Norman Smith who's at Lancaster House.
What can we expect? If you are expecting a blueprint for Brexit, a
feast of details, you are going to be disappointed, that is not what
you will get. Yes, there will be confirmation, we are leaving the
single market, but beyond that, I suspect there will be little
clarity. The reason is so many of the key areas are central to Theresa
May's negotiations and she does not want to compromise her approach.
There is an ongoing disagreement, call it what you will, within
Government over key aspects of Brexit. Instinctively, Theresa May
rarely says more than she has two. By the end of the day, we will not
massively wiser about the specific objectives Theresa May is seeking.
For example on the issue of the customs union. It is clear Mrs may
wants Britain to negotiate its own trade deals outside the customs
union. Equally it is clear within Government there is a view there are
huge advantages to British industry to remain a part of the customs
union. That will form a critical part of negotiations. We want to be
out but we want the benefits of staying in. We are looking for a
deal. Likewise on immigration, we could push for a tough deal, insist
on quotas are people who want to come from the EU to Britain. We
could go for a of movement, saying you can come here if you have a job.
Lastly, on a transitional deal, we don't want to say we are desperate
for a transitional deal, that makes us look weak. That is central to
negotiations. Because Mrs May still has to go into the negotiating
chamber, she does not want to put up an advertising sign, this is what I
want. So do not expect detail about her specific objectives.
She has talked about 12 negotiating priorities. We work expect too much
detail around the key issues. What will be in those priorities?
Will they be nebulous? You will hear a restatement of what Mrs May has
said many times about taking back control of migration, legal
authority from the Supreme Court, of our money.
The big overarching principles. What will be in her speech is a message
of reassurance. The speech today has been cast as her setting out her
plans. I think she sees it as Theresa May talking to the world
beyond Westminster. Reassurance to voters we won't be doing the hokey
Cokie halfway in half an hour. We are leaving. Reassurance to other
countries, we remain friends, we want to trade with you. Reassurance
to the rest of the world who won't become some sad lonely Island not
talking to the rest of the world. It is that bigger picture message
rather than the nitty-gritty specifics.
Thank you. We will let you go inside Lancaster House.
Is this what you are expecting, a clear sign we are leaving the single
market? That is what has been briefed.
Norman Smith is right, at this stage, it doesn't make sense to have
a detailed negotiating blueprint in the public domain. We may get an
indication we are leaving the internal market but not huge detail
on other issues. Do you accept that? The more the
speech has been trialled in advance, it is probable unless it will
contain on the day. It has been a speech where the Prime Minister is
trying to say this is on track but actually as Norman set out in his
piece and as Theresa May would agree, the Prime Minister is in a
difficult position appealing to the wider audience, but also trying to
get the facts right. Are we going to have the benefit of the customs you
in? She realises that is in our economic interest. -- customs union.
She wants a bold statement, this is a clean break which is a difficult
balance. Leaving the single market as has
been briefed is what she will outline. She has been clearer about
that over the last few months. We won't hear anything different. Do
you agree then as you have implied that the argument about today will
be about the customs union and whether we are part of that customs
union which will make it difficult for us to have free trade deals
which is the Department you are shadowing?
If you look at what the Conservative Party manifesto said, it talked
about safeguarding Britain's's interests in the single market,
about competing the single market in terms of the economy. It is clear we
have a Prime Minister who has now broken with those central pledges
that were there in the Conservative manifesto. But she has done that
without her own mandate. That puts her in a difficult position with the
electorate and her own party. She has to explain how having come into
being Prime Minister without any election, and she is now revoking
that clear commitment that was in the Conservative manifesto, to
complete the single market. It is one thing to say, we are leaving the
EU. To say we are going to reject all the things that are in the
economic benefit that create jobs and economic prosperity in this
country, she has to explain that to the British public.
That we would be better off. She had to explain how we are going to be
better off. The Conservative manifesto said we
would hold a referendum and respect the result.
We respect that result. Now she is in that position...
We need to leave the internal market. It would leave us subject to
European law and the European Court of Justice, both of those are
inconsistent with respecting the leave boat.
You are saying the Conservative manifesto contained inconsistent
answers. I am asking now the Prime Minister should reconcile those by
explaining to the British public why, on the one hand, she promised
to make Britain better by completing -- safeguarding the British interest
in the single market, now she wants to do the opposite.
The phrase is half-in, half-out, she doesn't want that. We are leaving
the EU, she says. Would you see partial membership of the customs
union, would that still be half in for you?
My anxiety would be if we stayed partly in the customs union, we
would be likely to be subject to extensive regulation and balls and
the ECJ. If we can avoid that, it is not unreasonable to keep the option
open -- regulation and balls. To be consistent we need to leave
the customs union and the internal market.
In its entirety. Mixing and matching different
sectors is difficult to reconcile with WTO rules.
Do you agree Barry Gardner the UK would still be half in if you like,
if we remained even partially as part of the customs union?
Not at all. What you have, for example, both Norway and
Switzerland, one of them inside the single market but not part of the
EU, the other inside the customs union but not part of the EU.
Models can be separate where those countries are not members of the EU.
Strictly, that is not correct. The point Theresa May made about the
world trade organisation is important.
What the WTO says, in order to be part of a customs union, you need to
be substantially within it. That means it is about 85% - 90% of all
your ex boats have to be part of the WTO.
Theresa May is going inside Lancaster House, due to speak in the
next few minutes in a speech lasting 45 minutes. She has gone inside
Lancaster House. Let's take a quick look
at the timetable to Brexit. Theresa May's speech comes ahead
of a decision by the Supreme Court on whether she will need
the approval of Parliament That ruling is expected
by the end of January. The Government has already committed
to publish a plan for leaving the EU The Brexit Select Committee has
called for a white paper to be The Prime Minister has said Article
50 will be triggered by the end of March,
firing the starting gun on up to two But the EU's chief negotiator
Michel Barnier has said the negotiations could only last
for up to 18 months in order to give EU institutions
time to ratify the deal. Further talks may need to take place
after that to agree Britain's post-Brexit trading relationship
with the EU if this cannot be negotiated in parallel
with the exit deal. And throughout the speech,
the BBC's Reality Check team will be fact-checking Theresa May's claims
and posting comments on the BBC Labour is not going to block the
triggering of Article 50? That is right, we have accepted the
will of the public was clear. It was a huge vote, 52% in favour of
leaving, 48% against. That is a clear majority, we accept
that. What we will try is set out the way
in which we think it should be delivered.
There was no clarity about how we should leave.
That is what we need. It is what the Prime Minister promised before
Christmas, what Parliament voted on before Christmas.
The Government accepted they would set out a paper to Parliament
setting out the negotiating conditions.
The speech today is not a Government paper.
As Norman Smith said. Will it be enough for you if she fleshes out
the principles? Not at all, we want a paper to
Parliament, not a speech. But what would be wrong with that?
Why shouldn't Government flesh out more clearly beyond what this speech
is expected to set out to MPs across the house, bearing in mind the
opposition said it would block triggering Article 50?
It may be the Government publishes further documents before a vote is
taken in Parliament. Ministers are engaging every day in Parliament on
how to approach these negotiations. This speech is another significant
landmark setting out our objectives. Every step of the way Parliament is
involved. What would not be wise is to set up all the detail of our
strategy. If the Government fails to provide
some sort of paper setting out the negotiating position, what will you
do? They will have broken their permits
to Parliament. We will table an amendment setting out what we
believe should be the case. If the Government defeats that, they
have the majority in Parliament to do that, it is their right to do
that as Government, then they can trigger Article 50 without having
provided detailed to Parliament for proper Parliamentary scrutiny.
Today, it is not acceptable for the Prime Minister to make the
fundamental points about how she is approaching these negotiations not
to Parliament. Parliamentary scrutiny is important, it is what
the Brexited said they were bringing back, sovereignty to the UK.
Let's go inside the room at Lancaster House. Diplomats gathered
inside, with members of the press, waiting for this speech from Theresa
May, due to start in the next few minutes or so. Lots of anticipation,
no doubt. There is our political editor Laura Kuenssberg. Theresa
Villiers, you were going to interject when Barry was speaking? I
think it is crucial to point out that Parliament is engaged every day
in this process. Barely a day goes by when we don't have debate on this
and very often Labour don't have the speakers... What can they debate on
if they don't have the information in their grasp? The Prime Minister
set out the fundamentals in her conference speech. We will get more
detail today. What we don't want is wrecking amendments in the
legislation. Barry Gardner said that won't happen, they won't have
wrecking amendments, is that right? That is right. If we are leaving,
which we accept we are, we want to make a success of it. That means
jobs in this country, economic growth. And remaining in the customs
union? We think that actually we should be getting the best possible
access either in the customs union and the single market that we
possibly can, for our goods and services, on a tariff free and on a
non-tariff free basis. Those barriers must remain. That would
mean, according to the European Union, on a tariff free basis, that
we would have to sign up to the rules of freedom of movement. That
is subject to negotiation. Any indication they would give way on
that? None. It is clear on the other side of the negotiating table that
they hold the four freedoms as essential. There was a concession
given to David Cameron on timescales on the four year concession they
talked about. There may be a way of pushing that further. That is
subject to negotiation. Both sides were very clear that leaving the EU
meant leaving the internal market, during the referendum that was clear
from both sides. In terms of negotiations, what are your viewss
on the transition arrangements? There are hints there should be a
transitional arrangement with the EU if negotiations aren't completed by
2019, would you support that? It depends what transitional
arrangement we are talking about. If it is something that effectively
keeps us in the EA for years on end, I don't think that would be
acceptable. If it's relatively short or specific, it could make sense,
but you can't answer the single question about whether transitional
arrangements are acceptable or not, it depends on what type of
transitional arrangements. Would you prefer to use the clean and hard
Brexit terms, whether or not they had completed a deal with the EU
that is satisfactory for the government? I would prefer we
limited the period of uncertainty, so we had a clean break from the EU
at the end of the Article 50 process. Inevitably there will be
some types of transitional arrangements to help industry deal
with that transition. But I think the more we can do to get this
decision made as quickly as possible, the better for our economy
and it gives us the opportunity to start negotiating with other
countries on trade deals. Do you accept if we stay part of the
customs union, within that group of countries that trades within the
customs union... I am going to stop there, here is the Prime Minister,
Theresa May, taking her place on the podium to deliver her speech on
Brexit. A little over six months ago the
British people voted for change. They voted to shape a brighter
future for our country. They voted to leave the European Union and
embrace the world, and they did so with their eyes open, accepting that
the road ahead would be uncertain times, but believing that it leads
towards a brighter future for their children and their grandchildren,
too. It is the job this government to deliver it. That means more than
negotiating our new relationship with the EU. It means taking the
opportunity of this great moment of national change to step back and ask
ourselves what kind of country we want to be. My answer is clear. I
want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger,
Sarah, more united and more outward looking than ever before. -- fairer.
I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country, a
magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and
innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly
global Britain, the best friend and neighbour to our European partners,
but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe, too. A
country that goes out into the world to build relationships with old
friends and new allies alike. I want Britain to be what we have
the potential talent and ambition to be, a great, global trading nation
which is respected around the world and strong, confident and United at
home. That is why this government has a plan for Britain. One that
gets us the right deal abroad, but also ensures we get a better deal
for ordinary working people at home. It's why that plan sets out how we
will use this moment of change to build a stronger economy and a
fairer society, by embracing genuine economic and social reform. Why our
new modern industrial strategy is being developed, to ensure every
nation and area of the United Kingdom can make the most of the
opportunities ahead. Why we will go further to reform our schools, to
ensure every child has the knowledge on the skills they need to thrive in
Paris Brexit Britain. Why, as we continue to bring the deficit down,
we would take a balanced approach by investing in our economic
infrastructure, because it can transform the growth potential of
our economy and improve the quality of peoples lives across whole
country. It's why we will put the
preservation of our precious union at the heart of everything we do.
Because it is only by coming together as one great union of
nations and people that we can make the most of the opportunities ahead.
The result of the referendum was not a decision to turn inward and
retreat from the world. Because Britain's history and culture is
profoundly internationalist. We are a European country and proud of our
shared European heritage, but we are also a country that has always
looked beyond Europe, to the wider world. That is why we are one of the
most racially diverse countries in Europe, one of the most
multicultural members of the European Union, and why whether
we're talking about India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, America, Australia,
Canada, New Zealand, countries in Africa or those closer to home in
Europe, so many of us have close friends and relatives from across
the world. Instinctively we want to travel to study in and trade with
countries not just in Europe but beyond the borders of our continent.
Even now, as we prepare to leave the EU, we are planning for the next
heads of Commonwealth meeting in 2018, a reminder of our unique and
proud global relationships. And it is important to recognise this fact.
June the 23rd was not the moment Britain chose to step back from the
world, it was the moment we chose to build a truly global Britain. I know
that this and the other reasons Britain took such a decision is not
always well understood among our friends and allies in Europe, and I
know many fear that this might herald the beginning of the great
unravelling of the EU. But let me be clear, I do not want that to happen.
It would not be in the best interests of Britain, it remains
overwhelmingly and compellingly in Britain's national interest that the
EU should succeed. That is why I hope, in the months and years ahead,
we will all reflect on the lessons of Britain's decision to leave. So
let me take this opportunity to set out the reasons for our decision and
to address the people of Europe directly.
It's not simply because our history and culture is profoundly
internationalist, important though that is. Many in Britain have always
felt that the United Kingdom's place in the European Union came at the
expense of our global ties and a boulder embrace of free trade with
the wider world. There are other important reasons, too. Our
political traditions are different. Unlike other European countries, we
have no written constitution, but the principle of Parliamentary
sovereignty is the basis of our unwritten constitutional settlement.
We have only a recent history of devolved government, though it has
rapidly embedded itself. We have little history of coalition
government. The public expect to be able to hold their governments to
account very directly. As a result, supranational institutions as strong
as those created by the European Union, sit very uneasily in relation
to our political history and way of life. And while I know Britain might
at times has been seen as an awkward member state, the European Union has
struggled to deal with the diversity of its member countries and their
interests. It bends towards uniformity, not flexibility. David
Cameron's negotiation was a valiant final attempt to make it work for
Britain. And I want to thank all those elsewhere in Europe who helped
him to reach an agreement, but the blunt truth, as we know, is that
there was not enough flexibility on many important matters for a
majority of British voters. I do not believe that these things apply
uniquely to Britain. Britain is not the only member state where there is
a strong attachment to an accountable and democratic
government, such a strong internationalist mindset or a belief
diversity within Europe should be celebrated. So I believe there is a
lesson in Brexit, not just for Britain, but, if it wants to
succeed, for the EU itself, because our continent's great strength has
always been its diversity. There two of dealing with different interests.
You can respond by trying to hold things together by force, tightening
vice like grip that ends up crashing into tiny pieces the very things you
want to protect, or you can respect difference, cherish it even come and
reform the EU so it deals better with the wonderful diversity of its
member states. So to our friends across Europe, let
me say this: our vote to leave the European Union was no rejection of
the values we share. The decision to leave the EU represents no desire to
become more distant to you, our friends and neighbours. It was no
attempt to do harm to the EU itself or to any of its remaining member
states. We do not want to turn the clock back to the days when Europe
was less peaceful, less secure and less able to trade freely. It was a
vote to restore, as we see it, our Parliamentary democracy, national
self-determination and to become even more global and
internationalist in action and in spirit. We will continue to be
reliable partners, willing allies and close friends. We want to buy
your goods and services, cellular hours, trade with you as freely as
possible and work with one another to make sure we are all safer, more
secure and more prosperous through continued friendship. You will still
be welcome in this country, as we hope our citizens will be welcoming
yours. At a time when together we face a serious threat from our
enemies, Britain's unique intelligence capabilities will
continue to help to keep people in Europe safe from terrorism. And at a
time when there is growing concern about European security, Britain's
service men and women based in European countries, including
Estonia, Poland and Romania, will continue to do their duty. We are
leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. And that is
why we seek a new and equal partnership between an independent,
self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU.
Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership
of the European Union or anything that leads us half in and half out.
We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries.
We do not seek to hold onto bits of membership as we leave. No, the
United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, and my job is to get
the right deal for Britain as we do. So today, I want to outline our
objectives for the negotiation ahead. 12 objectives that amount to
one big goal, a new, positive and constructive partnership between
Britain and the European Union. And as we negotiate that partnership, we
will be driven by some simple principles. We will provide as much
certainty and clarity as they can at every stage and we will take this
opportunity to make Britain stronger, to make Britain fairer and
to build a more global Britain. The first objective is crucial, we
will provide certainty whenever we can. We are about to enter a
negotiation, that means there will be give and take, there will have to
be compromises, it will require imagination on both sides. Not
everybody will be able to know everything at every stage. But I
recognise how important it is to provide business, the public sector
and everybody with as much certainty as possible as we move through the
process. So, where we can offer that certainty, we will do so.
That is why last year we acted quickly to give clarity about farm
payments and university funding, why is be repealed the European
Community is that we will convert the body of existing EU thought into
British law to give the country maximum certainty as we leave the
EU. The same rules and laws will apply on the day after Brexit as
before. It will be for the British Parliament to decide on any changes
to that law after full scrutiny and proper Parliamentary debate. When it
comes to Parliament, there is one of the way I would like to provide
certainty and I can confirm today the Government will broker the final
deal, put the final deal before Parliament before it comes into
force. Our second guiding principle is to
build a stronger Britain. That means taking control of our own
affairs, as those who voted in them is to leave demanded we must. We
will take back control of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction
of the European Court of Justice in Britain. Leaving the EU will mean
our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and
Belfast. Those laws will be interpreted by a judge is not in
Luxembourg but in courts across this country. Because we will not have
truly left the EU if we are not in control of our laws.
A stronger Britain demands we do something else. Strengthen the
precious union between the four nations of the UK. At this momentous
time, it is more important than ever we face the future together. United
by what makes us strong. The bond that unites us as a people and
Arshad -- our shared interest in the UK being a successful trading nation
in future. I hope that same spirit of unity will apply in Northern
Ireland over the coming months in the Assembly elections, and the main
parties that will work together to re-establish a partnership
Government as soon as possible. Foreign affairs are the
responsibility of the UK Government and we act in the interests of all
parts of the UK. As Prime Minister I take that responsibility seriously.
I have also been determined from the start the devolved administrations
should be fully engaged in this process. That is why the Government
has set up a joint ministerial committee on EU negotiations so
ministers from each of the devolved and restrictions in the UK can
contribute to the process of planning for our departure from the
EU. We have received a paper from the Scottish Government and look
forward to receiving a paper from the Welsh Government shortly. Both
papers will be considered as part of this important process.
We won't agree on everything but I look forward to working with the
administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver a
Brexit that works for the whole of the UK. Part of that will mean
working very carefully to ensure that as powers are repatriated from
Brussels back to Britain, the right powers are returned to Westminster
and the right powers are passed to the devolved administrations of
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As we do so, our guiding principle must be to ensure as we leave the
European Union no new barriers to living and doing business within our
own unions are created. That means maintaining the necessary
come on standards and frameworks for our domestic market, empowering the
UK as an open trading nation, to strike the best trade deals around
the world and protecting the common resources of our islands. As we do
this I should be clear no decision is currently taken by the devolved
demonstrations will be removed from them. We cannot forget that as we
leave, the UK will share a land border with the EU and maintaining
that common travel area with the Republic of Ireland will be an
important priority for the UK in the talks ahead. There has been a common
travel area between the UK and the Republic of Ireland for many years.
It was formed before either of our two countries by members of the EU.
The family ties and bonds of affection that unite our two
countries means there will always be a special relationship between us.
We will work to deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance
of the Common travel area with the Republic while protecting the
integrity of the UK's immigration system. Nobody wants to return to
the borders of the past so we will make it a priority to deliver a
practical solution as soon as we can.
The third principle is to build a fairer written. That means ensuring
it is fair to everyone who lives and works in this country. That is why
we will ensure we can control immigration to Britain from Europe.
We will continue to attract the brightest and best.
So our immigration system serves the national interest.
So we will get control of the number of people coming to Britain from the
EU. Because, well controlled immigration can bring great
benefits, filling skills shortages, delivering public services, making
British business is the world beaters they often are. When the
numbers get too high, public support for the system fault is. In the last
decade we have seen record levels of net migration in Britain and that
volume has put pressure on public services like schools, stretched our
infrastructure especially housing, put a downward pressure on wages for
working class people. As Home Secretary for six years I know you
cannot control immigration overall when there is free movement to
Britain from Europe. Britain is an open and tolerant country, we will
always want immigration especially high skilled immigration,
immigration from Europe, and always welcome individual migrants as
friends. The message from the public before and during the referendum
campaign was clear. Brexit must mean control of the number of people who
come to Britain from Europe and that is what we will deliver.
Fairness demands we deal with another issue as soon as possible.
We want to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who are already living
in Britain and the rights of British nationals in other member states as
early as we can. I have told other EU leaders we
could give people the certainty they want straightaway and reach a deal
now. Many favour such an agreement, others do not. I want everyone to
know it remains an important priority for Britain and for many
other member states to resolve this challenge as soon as possible
because it is the right and fair thing to do.
And a fairer Britain is a country that protects and enhances the
rights people have at work. That is why it is we translate the body of
European law into our domestic regulations we will ensure that
workers' rights are fully protected and maintained. Indeed, under my
leadership not only will the Government protect the rights of
workers set out in Europe in education, we will build on them
because under this Conservative Government, we will make sure legal
protection for workers keeps pace with the change in Labour market and
the voices of workers are heard by the boards of public and listed
companies for the first time. The great price for this country,
the opportunity ahead, is to use this moment to build a truly global
Britain, a country that reaches out to old friends and new allies alike,
a great global trading nation, and one of the firmest advocates for
free trade anywhere in the world. That starts with our close friends
and neighbours in Europe. As a priority, we will pursue a bold and
ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement
should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between
Britain and the EU member states. It should give British companies the
maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets, and
let European businesses do the same in Britain. But I want to be clear.
What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.
European leaders have said many times that membership means
accepting the four freedoms of goods, capital, services and people.
And being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean
Compline with the EU rules and regulations that implement those
freedoms without having a vote on what those rules and regulations
are. It would mean accepting a role in
the ECJ that would see it having direct legal authority in our
country. It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at
all. That is why both sides in the
referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be
a vote to leave the single market. We do not seek membership of the
single market. Instead we seek the greatest possible access to it
through a new, competitive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.
That agreement they take in elements of current single market
arrangements in certain areas, the export of cars and lorries, the
freedom to provide financial services across national borders. It
makes no sense to start again from scratch when Britain and the many
other states have did to the same rules for many years.
I respect the position taken by European leaders who have been clear
about their position because I am care about mine.
And important part of the new strategic partnership we seek with
the EU will be the pursuit of the greatest possible access to the
single market, on a fully reciprocal basis, through a competitive free
trade agreement. Because we will no longer be members
of the single market, we will not be required to contribute huge sums to
the EU budget. There may be some specific European
programmes in which we might want to participate. If so, this will be for
us to decide, it is reasonable we should make an appropriate
contribution. The principle is clear. The days of
Britain making vast contributions to the EU every year will end.
But it is not just trade with the EU we should be interested in.
A global Britain must be free to strike trade agreements with
countries from outside the EU. Important though our trade with the
EU is and will remain, it is clear the UK needs to increase
significantly its trade with the fastest-growing export markets in
the world. Since joining the EU, trade as a
percentage of GDP has broadly stagnated in the UK. That is why it
is time for Britain to get out into the world and we discover its role
as a great global trading nation. This is such a priority for me that
when I became Prime Minister I established for the first time a
Department for International trade led by Liam Fox.
We want to get out into the wider world, to trade and do business all
around the globe. Countries including China, the Gulf states
have already expressed interest in trade deals. We have studied
discussions on ties with countries like Australia, and India.
President-elect John has said Britain is not at the back of the
queue for a trade deal with the United States, the world's biggest
economy, but front of the line. I know my emphasis on striking trade
agreements with countries outside Europe has led to questions about
whether Britain seeks to remain a member of the customs union. It is
true full customs union Premiership prevents us from negotiating our own
competitive trade deals. Grzegorz Krychowiak collection at the customs
union prevents us. I also want cross-border trade with
EU to be as frictionless as possible.
I do not want Britain to be part of the common commercial policy. These
are the elements of the customs union that prevent us from striking
our own competitive trade agreements with other countries. I want us to
have a customs agreement with the EU. Whether that means we must reach
a completely new customs agreement, become an associate member in some
way or made a signatory to some elements, I hold no preconceived
position. I have an open mind on how we do it, it is not the means that
matter but the ends. Those ends up here. I want to remove as many
barriers to trade as possible and I want Britain to be free to establish
our own tariff schedules at the WTO. Meaning we can reach new trade
agreements not just with the EU but with old friends and new allies.
A global Britain must also be a country that looks to the future.
That means being one of the best places in the world for science and
innovation. One of our great strengths as a
nation is the breadth and depth of our academic and scientific
communities, backed up by some of the world's best universities and we
have a proud history of leading and supporting cutting edge research and
innovation. So we will also welcome agreement to continue to collaborate
with our European partners on major science, research and technology
initiatives. From space exploration to clean energy to medical
technologies, Britain will remain at the forefront of collective
endeavours to better understand and make better the world in which we
live. And a global Britain will continue
to cooperate with its European partners in important areas such as
crime, terrorism and foreign affairs.
All of us in Europe face the challenge of cross-border crime, a
deadly terrorist threat and the dangers presented by hostile states.
All of us share interests and values in common. Values we want to see
projected around the world. With the threats to our common security
becoming more serious, our response cannot be to cooperate with one
another less, but to work together more. I therefore want our future
relationship with the European Union to include practical arrangements on
matters of law enforcement and the sharing of intelligence material
with our EU allies. I'm proud of the role Britain has played and will
continue to play in promoting your's security. Britain has led Europe on
the measures needed to keep our continent secure, whether it is
implementing sanctions against Russia following its action in
Crimea, working for peace and stability in the Balkans or securing
your's external border. We will continue to work closely with our
European allies in foreign and defence policy, even as we leave the
EU itself. These are our objectives for the
negotiation ahead, objectives that will help to realise our ambition of
shaping that stronger, fairer, global Britain that we want to see.
They are the basis for a new, strong, constructive partnership
with the European Union. A partnership of friends and allies,
interests and values, a partnership for a strong EU and a strong UK. But
there is one further objective we are setting. For as I have said
before, it is in no 1's interests for there to be a cliff edge for
business or a threat to stability as we change from our existing
relationship to a new partnership with the EU. By this I do not mean
that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status in
which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent
political purgatory, that would not be good for Britain, but nor do I
believe it would be good for the EU. Instead, I want us to have reached
an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two year
Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards we believe a
phased process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU
institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements
that will exist between us, we'll be in our mutual self-interest. This
will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new
arrangements. This might be about our immigration controls, custom
systems all the way in which we cooperate on criminal justice
matters or about the future legal framework for financial services.
The time we need to phase in the new arrangements may differ. Some might
be introduced very quickly, some might take longer and the interim
arrangements we rely on are likely to be a matter of negotiation. But
the purpose is clear. We will seek to avoid disruptive cliff edge. We
will do everything we can to phase in the new arrangements we require
as Britain and the EU move towards new partnership.
So these are the objectives we have set. Certainty where ever possible,
control of our own laws, strengthening uniting Kington,
maintaining the common travel area with Ireland, control of
immigration, writes the EU nationals, enhancing rights for
workers, free trade with European markets, new trade agreements with
other countries, a leading role in science and innovation, cooperation
on crime, terrorism and foreign affairs and a phased approach,
delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit. This is the framework of a
deal that will herald a new partnership between the UK and the
EU. It is a comprehensive and carefully considered plan that
focuses on the ends not just the means, with its eyes fixed firmly on
the future and on the kind of country we will be once we leave. It
reflects the hard work of many in this room today, who have worked
tirelessly to bring it together and to prepare this country for the
negotiations ahead. And it will, I know, be debated and discussed at
length, that is only right, but those who urge us to reveal more,
such as the blow by blow details of our negotiating strategy, the areas
in which we might compromise, the places we think there are potential
trade-offs, will not be acting in the national interest. Because this
is not a gamer or a time for opposition for opposition's sake, it
is a crucial and sensitive negotiation that will define the
interests and success of our country for many years to come. And it is
vital that we maintain our discipline. That is why I've said
before and will continue to say, that every stray word and every
hyped up media report is going to make it harder for us to get the
right deal for Britain. Our opposite numbers in the European Commission
know it, which is why they are keeping their discipline. The
ministers and government know it, which is why we will also maintain
hours. So however frustrating some people find it, the government will
not be pressured into saying more than I believe it is in our national
interest to say, because it's not my job to fill column inches with daily
updates, but to get the right deal for Britain, and that is what I
intend to do. I am confident that a deal and a new
strategic partnership between the UK and EU be achieved. This is firstly
because having held conversations with almost every leader from every
single EU member state, having spent time talking to the senior figures
from the European institutions, including President Donna Tartt,
Jean-Claude Juncker and after my colleagues have done the same, I am
confident that the vast majority want a positive relationship between
the UK and the EU after Brexit, and I am confident that the objectives
I'm setting out today are consistent with the needs of the EU and its
member states. That's why our objectives include a proposed free
trade agreement between Britain and the European Union and explicitly
rule out membership of the EU single market. Because when the EU's
leaders say they believe the four freedoms of the market are
indivisible, we respect that. Whether 27 member states say they
want to continue their journey inside the European Union, we not
only respect that fact but support it, because we do not want to
undermine single market and we do not want to undermine the European
Union. We want the EU to be a success, and we want its remaining
member states to prosper. And, of course, we want the same for
Britain. And the second reason I believe it
is possible to reach a good deal is that the kind of agreement I have
described today is the economic li rational thing that both Britain and
the EU should aim for. Because trade is not a 0-sum game. Moreover it
makes us all more prosperous. Free trade between Britain and the
European Union means more trade, more trade means more jobs and more
wealth creation. The erection of new barriers to trade, meanwhile, means
the reverse. Less trade, fewer jobs, growth.
The third and final reason I believe we can come to the right agreement,
is that cooperation between Britain and the EU is needed not just when
it comes to trade, but when it comes to our security, too. Britain and
France are your's only two nuclear powers. We are the only two European
countries with permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Britain's Armed Forces are a crucial part of your's collective defence
and our intelligence capabilities unique in Europe, have already saved
countless lives and very many terrorist plots that have been
thwarted in countries across our continent. After Brexit, Britain
wants to be a good friend and neighbour in every way, and that
includes defending the safety and security of all of our citizens. So
I believe the framework I've outlined today is in Britain's
interests. It is in your's interests and is in the interests of the wider
world. But I must be clear, Britain wants to remain a good friend and
neighbour to Europe. Yet I know there are some voices calling for a
punitive deal, that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from
taking the same path. That would be an active calamitous self harm for
the countries of Europe and it would not be the act of a friend. Britain
would not, indeed we could not, accept such an approach. And while I
am confident that this scenario need never arise, while I am sure a
positive agreement can be reached, I am equally clear that no deal for
Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain. Because we would still
be able to trade with Europe. Would still be free to and strike trade
deals across the world and we would have the freedom to set the
competitive tax rates and embrace the policies that would attract the
world's Best companies and biggest investors to Britain.
And, if we were excluded from accessing the single market, we will
be free to change the basis of Britain's economic model. But for
the EU, it would mean new barriers to trade with one of the biggest
economies in the world. It would jeopardise investments in Britain by
EU companies worth more than half a loss of access for European firms to
the financial services of the City of London. It would risk exports
from the EU to Britain worth ?290 billion every year and it would
disrupt the sophisticated and integrated supply chains upon which
many EU companies rely. Important sectors of the EU economy would also
suffer. There are crucial profitable export market for the automobile
industry as well as energy, food and drink, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
and agriculture. The sectors employ millions around Europe. I don't
believe the EU's leaders will seriously tell German exporters,
French farmers, Spanish fishermen, the young unemployed of the Eurozone
and millions of others that they want to make the poorer just to
punish Britain and make a political point. For all these reasons. And
because of our shared values and the spirit of goodwill that exists on
both sides, I am confident that we will follow a better path. I am
confident a positive agreement can be reached. It's right that the
government should prepare for every eventuality, but to do so in the
knowledge that a constructive and optimistic approach to the
negotiations to come is in the best interest of Europe and the best
interests of Britain. We do not approach these
negotiations expecting failure but anticipating success. Because we are
a great global nation with so much to offer Europe and so much to offer
the world. One of the world's largest and strongest economies,
with the finest intelligence services, the bravest Armed Forces,
the most effective hard soft power and friendships, partnerships and
alliances in every continent. And another thing that's important, the
essential ingredient of our success... The strength and support
of 65 million people willing us to make it happen. Because after all
the division and discord, the country is coming together. The
referendum was divisive at times, and those divisions have taken time
to heal, but one of the reasons that Britain's democracy has been such a
success for so many years, is that the strength of our identity as one
nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the
importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote
has been held, we all respect the result. The victors have the
responsibility to act magnanimously, the losers have the responsibility
to respect the legitimacy of the outcome and the country comes
together. And that is what we are seeing today.
Business isn't calling to reverse the result but make a success of it.
The House Of Commons has voted for us to get on with it. The
overwhelming majority of people however they voted want us to get on
with it as well. So that is what we will do. Not merely forming a new
partnership with Europe but building a stronger, fairer, more global
Britain. Let that be the legacy of our time. The prize towards which we
work, the destination at which we arrive once the negotiation is done.
Let us not do it for ourselves but for those who follow, for the
countries children and grandchildren as well. So that when future
generations look back at this time, they will judge us not only by the
decision we made but by what we made of that decision.
They will see that we shaped them a brighter future, they will know that
we built them a better Britain. Thank you.
Theresa May speaking for nearly 45 minutes, setting out her priorities
in what was a frank and wide ranging speech. She made clear what to some
extent we have all known, which is that UK cannot remain a member of
the single market because she said the UK would happen to accept the
EU's four key freedoms. She went on to say and expectedly there would
not be full membership of the customs union, people thought she
would not be as clear as she was because that would she said prevent
striking our own free trade deals which was the backdrop for this
speech, the title behind her head of global Britain, she talked a lot
about free trade, being an outward looking country but that would
preclude of the customs union. She did say full ownership and there
will be a lot of detail about whether there will be a partial
membership of the customs union for certain sectors.
She did say she wanted the greatest possible access. She said the days
of making vast contributions to the EU coffers were over. That did not
roll out making some contribution. David Davis did not rule that out,
particularly again if you wanted certain arrangements for certain
sectors. She said we might want to stay part
of some of the EU programmes. She talked about transitional
arrangements, to avoid what she called a cliff edge in 2019.
She also said this wasn't a time for the opposition to oppose what the
Government was proposing for the sake of opposition. She said it was
vital to maintain discipline. She promised a Parliamentary vote on
the deal that her Government actually comes back to Parliament
with, at the end of the negotiations on the deal to leave the EU.
campaigner and former Cabinet Minister Theresa Villiers.
And the Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner.
Your response to the speech? Have you got what you wanted? It is
a great speech. I feel quite emotional. This is
another big step towards becoming an independent country again, the
confirmation we are leaving the internal market, the reiteration we
are going to take back control of making our own laws, interspersed
with a sensible pragmatism about phased implementation.
A welcome speech. Except if the EU and other member states do not quite
give Theresa May and her Government what they want in terms of that
crucial free trade deal with the rest of Europe?
The prime Minster spoke in tough terms. It is very clear it is in the
interests of both sides to reach a sensible accommodation on trade and
ash she pointed out it would be Europe acting against its own
interest to punish us. The effect leaves them poorer particularly our
nearest neighbour in Ireland. It was right to send that message. I
hope the EU sees sense. Even if they don't give us a trade deal, then we
trade on most favoured nation status under WTO rules, other countries do
more business with you on that basis.
She said she would not like the UK to fall off a fifth edge you can
play and would like a transitional arrangement.
We are out of the single market which is not what Labour wanted. And
out as full members of the customs union visibly because otherwise we
would not be able to do the free trade deals she wants us to do.
That appears to be the case. I want to welcome one central aspect of the
speech, she has committed to two votes in Parliament, one in the
House Of Commons, and in the House Of Lords also. I am delighted she
has made that concession. It was not on the cards if you months.
Ago When she talks about frictionless access into European
markets, we have to look at what this new free trade agreement
arrangement with the EU is that she is proposing. Frictionless access
means you would have to have a harmonisation or a recognition of
the equivalents of these standards and regulations in each of the
countries. That is possible? It is possible but
it means we are still accepting the regulations placed by Brussels. That
goes against what she spoke of, that Parliamentary Roxy and
self-determination being the key messages.
On the issue of a vote at the end of the deal, let us assume there is a
deal to put to Parliament, is there any scenario under which you can see
Labour voting that down? Look, we want to respect the will of
the British people we come out of the EU.
And we need, and the Prime Minister was right to say this is not a time
for opposition for opposition's sake. It is time for the opposition
to do what we should do which is to oppose the Government in the
interests of the British people. If you thought it was a bad deal
would you vote it down? If we think it is the wrong deal, it
it has about making Britain poorer, and sacrificed jobs instead of
creating jobs, of course it would be our obligation at that point, and by
giving the vote she assumes there is a possibility of the deal being
voted down. Both of you staying for this special
programme throughout. The Prime Minister is now answering
questions from the press. If there are any crucial answers we will of
course play Bentiu on this programme.
We can talk now to Ukip's Deputy Chairman, Suzanne Evans.
Were you pleased? I was chuckling, it was channelling Ukip, there were
phrases I have used myself. Her 12 priorities were all extremely
sound priorities for a proper clean hard Brexit.
Overwhelmingly welcome the speech. We don't need Ukip anymore! You are
signed up to everything she said. Therefore there really isn't any
need for Ukip to stop her falling away from her promises?
What the Prime Minister set out today was very sound principles.
Remember it is not the Prime Minister who has carte blanche to
deliver Brexit. She is surrounded by a strong and influential
establishment. The hardline remainders, the Supreme Court, the
House Of Lords. She dealt with those issues. I don't
think she did in the sense what is she going to do if these people
kicked up a fuss? Ukip is still very strong on Brexit, we have to be, to
make sure we get the right Brexit. It is still for us a job of holding
her feet to the fire. We heard a lot of talk today, it is the right kind
of talk, but we still need action. She talked about transitional
arrangements. Do you support that idea or is it
half in it depends what it looks like?
Something as fundamental as the free movement of people, if that is a
transitional scheme, we could see higher levels of immigration from
the EU than before. What about being a member of certain
programmes? Implications we could stay part of security arrangements
and under the ECJ for contractual arrangements?
That is not acceptable. I was pleased to see Theresa May making it
clear Britain was not going to be subject to the power of any European
Court. We would if we stay part of Europol.
Theresa May made it clear she wants to cooperate over security and is
but we are going to be out of the EU. A fundamental principle. I had
her say it is about free trade. If we cannot have free trade
agreements, that means... She did say that the UK would not
sign up to full ownership of the customs union, would you consider
that to be still half in half out of the EU? If we were signed up to
certain industries to remain part of the customs union, in the way turkey
is? It depends what the negotiation
looks like. If we were still bits -- a bit in
the customs union? To export to that market we will
need to meet those standards. That might make that much
difference. In terms of contributions to the EU coffers, she
rolled out making vast annual contributions to the EU will stop
what if there were some contributions, perhaps every other
year, would that be acceptable? Let's see what that negotiation
looks like? It is arguably fair and reasonable while we are negotiating
we still contribute. For me and Ukip we would say there has to be a
cut-off point where we have zero contributions to the EU. Again, the
direction of travel was very hard line from Theresa May on getting out
of the EU. And acre Cilic free one. I was struck by how she made
concilatory noises to the EU. -- and a concilatory one.
Do you think we will still be half in the EU if we don't fully come out
of the customs union? As I said, ultimately, our
destination is out of the customs union because I suspect it will come
with too many strings attached for it to be reconcilable with a Leave
vote. Even if it hits, a fracturing an
aerospace who do rely on an extensive supply chain within the EU
customs union? But there are many countries around
the world who sell more to the EU without being in the customs union?
How destructive will it be if they had to prove place of origin for
every car and plane? That is what American producers
managed to do and they sell vast amounts of products in those
industries to the EU. Once -- thousands of lorries pass
through countries which have customs barriers without even slowing down.
There are technology always to ensure the rules of origin system
does not mean a huge bigotry burden. Countries not within the customs
union, they have a multitude of free trade deals and banish it.
Norway and Switzerland are very different economies from the UK --
and they manage it. The automotive sector, they don't
sell vast amount of cars into the EU most of the cars in the EU off from
within the EU. The country of origin rules are critical here because our
suppliers who feed into products not just in the automotive sector but
products from Europe to third countries outside, will begin to see
them if from the supply chain within the next nine months because it is
an 18 month supply chain. A serious problem for business. Some
more reaction this time from the Government.
Damian Green was at the Cabinet meeting today and joins me from
Lancaster House. You were a remain campaigner before
the referendum, now a member of the Government.
The Prime Minister said we would not be half half-out, is the UK going to
leave fully the customs union? She said we will leave the single
market, the customs union is more complex. We will leave the parts of
it that stop us signing trade deals with other countries in the world.
We've seen a lot of interest in free trade deals with Britain and there
are certain parts of the customs union that do that. The Prime
Minister made clear other parts of the customs union that we will be
negotiating about, that we may wish to stay in. She doesn't have
preconceived notions about how we do that. There are parts of the customs
union we won't want to stay in because we want to sign free trade
deals with other economies around the world. That is an admission that
key industries like aerospace manufacturing could be harmed if we
came out of the customs union? She made the point that what we want to
achieve is near frictionless borders as they can. Clearly there are, as
you say, many big important industries, both in this country and
in other countries around Europe, that rely on supply chains and other
European countries. And we want as few customs barriers as they can, in
practical terms, for those. That will be an important part of the
negotiations, which illustrates that the best kind of deal is not just
good for Britain, it's good for other European countries as well.
Clearly that frictionless trade provides prosperity and jobs in
other countries. Can you be clear in terms of financial contributions
that could continue to be made to the EU, it is clear from what she
said that she is not ruling out all together some financial
contributions being made, in order for us to have preferential access
to the single market. Is that right? It wasn't quite that. She said we
wouldn't make contributions in the traditional sense but there may well
be individual projects we would want to get involved in. Like? We would
look... Let's see what's on offer. I don't want to pick individual
sectors or individual projects now. In those circumstances it may be to
Britain's advantage to make a financial contribution to a specific
project. That was a red line for some of the Brexiteers before and
after the referendum. On that basis, there could be some special
contributions that are made, in order to have some sort of advantage
for certain sectors or industries. She said we might want to remain
part of some EU programmes. That's right as well, is it? That's
specifically what she was talking about when she said, she wasn't
talking about sectors, she said there may be specific programmes
where it would be to Britain's advantage to be part of, that's
where it may be to our advantage to make contributions. So we are still
a bit in the EU, in that case. If WHISTLE
And the odd contribution here or there, still part of some of the EU
programmes, some of which could be under the jurisdiction of the
European Court of Justice, we are half in and half out, not having a
clean Brexit or hard Brexit we've spoken about? I don't think that's
true at all. The phrase she used a lot is we will be in a strategic
partnership with the EU. We will be out of the EU but we will obviously
be friendly, neighbours, fellow democracies. We want a strategic
partnership. As strategic partners we may say he is a project, he is a
programme that members of the EU and a nonmember of the EU, like Britain,
might want to join. The EU signs deals with countries that are not in
the EU, so it's not unknown for that happen. Britain will be outside the
EU but will be a friendly, strategic partner of the EU and its member
states. Damian Green, thank you for joining us outside of Lancaster
House. Theresa Villiers, when we look at hard border, the Common
travel area between Ireland and Northern Ireland, she said there
wouldn't be a hard border. How can she guarantee that if we're coming
out of the single market and almost all of the union? We have had a
Common travel area for almost 100 years, it predated the EU
membership. There's no reason we can't continue it. Yes, there's a
degree of risk of illegal migration by having an open border, but it's
perfectly possible to manage that risk, without border checkpoints.
The reality is, the key thing is how you cooperate with the immigration
authorities on both sides of the border. For around 100 years those
immigration authorities have worked together, to try and secure the
external borders of the Common travel area. That will continue.
That's how we need to operate. We can now talk to the Lib Dem leader
Tim Farron. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Looking funny if not a
little cold outside the Houses of Parliament. These are all your worst
fears come true. We are leaving the single market, we are leaving, if
not totally, the customs union. It is the end of that kind of
relationship with the EU. It seems to be the extreme version of Brexit
Theresa May was briefing in advance of this speech. That is incredibly
disappointing for anyone who thinks democracy matters. What she has done
is taken the views of 51.9% of the people that voted to leave the
European union last June and assumed they were all meant the same as
Nigel Farage and assumed they wanted an extreme Brexit that wasn't on the
ballot paper. This is a theft of democracy as well as an attack on
our economy. To decide to do this, without seeking the will and the
opinion of the British people at the end of it, is more offensive. The
only two really substantial thing she said in the speech was that she
was going for the hard Brexit and ripping us out of the single market.
The other was its parliament would get a vote on the deal at the end of
this. Which is saying politicians can have a bit of democracy at the
end of this process, but the people can't. We take the view that you
start this process with democracy, as we did last June, but you do not
end it with a stitch up. Because you want to see a second referendum? I
want a first referendum on a deal we know nothing about yet. Theresa May
has waved a white flag on the most important thing when it comes to our
future relationship with Europe. The single market. Business is united in
saying we should be in the single market. It's not true to say they
are 100% United. I'm sure you could find somebody, but 90% in the recent
survey before Christmas that they wanted to be in the single market.
This is a theft of democracy and the only way to close is by asking
people to say yes or no to the deal at the end of the process. Let's ask
what you can do about it, Tim Farron, as leader of the Liberal
Democrats. Will you be instructing your peers to vote against
triggering Article 50, which would start the negotiation process, to
block this happening? We have been clear we will use parliament to
amend whatever the government puts in front of us, to ensure Britain
gets the best deal, so Britain does argue and fight its corner, and
business' corner at the stay in the single market. You will block it,
block triggering Article 50? I will be clear, our breadline is on a
referendum. If the British people are not given their say at the end
of all this, if the will of the people is ignored, if the people are
cut out of this process, this is a stitch up between politicians and
bureaucrats in Brussels on Whitehall. We will vote against
anything that cuts the people out of this process. You want the second
referendum? We want the first referendum on the deal. We know
nothing what it will look like, we have some idea what Theresa May will
and won't fight for. She won't fight for Britain's position in single
market. We have no idea what it will look like at the end. Why should the
British people have that. When they have no say? Wrote parliament is
full of elected representatives like yourself. Why isn't that enough in
terms of giving you the say on final deal? Because we started with a
referendum I think that's why you have do end up. To reverse the
process we've been through? If the courts or even parliament elected to
offer that is, were to frustrate the will of the people, that would be
wrong and counter-productive. The only way Britain is staying in the
European Union, even the single market, is if the British people
tell the government that is what they want. The Liberal Democrats are
the only people providing the vehicle for that democracy to take
place. You are representing, as you say, the 48% who voted... To remain.
And the leaders who want us to stay in the single market. We don't know
what the numbers are in terms of who wanted to stay in the single market.
More than none. You may not like it, in fact I know you don't like it,
the issue of immigration was important one way or another. Do you
not accept Theresa May is responding, in some way, to what
many people felt was a need to take back some control of immigration and
open borders? I think what she's doing and what no
one seems to be doing is making the case for British people and our
freedom of movement, British prisoners. Answer the question on
immigration. If you are concerned about immigration, it's a two-way
street. Nobody seems to be arguing the best deal for us. If you take
Theresa May's Linux that freedom of movement is some kind of a red line,
don't accept what the other side say over membership of the single
market. Go and argue Britain's case. If you want to be in the single
market and I want some of the other stuff people of Europe say we have
to have, don't just accept it, don't wave the white flag, fight Britain's
corner. Tim Farron, thank you very much.
Some suggested the Prime Minister might not tell us much she had an
already revealed about how the UK will approach the Brexit process. As
it turned out, she made a number of significant and explicit statements,
as we've already discussed. Let's look at some of the key things we
have learned from the Prime Minister's speech.
The deal will be put to a vote in both Houses of Parliament. On the
big subject of immigration she said Brexit must mean control of the
number of people who come to Britain from Europe, although she didn't
give any further figures on that. She said the UK will pursue a bold
free-trade agreement with the EU, but she confirmed that as expected,
that will not mean membership of the single market.
Also on trade, the Prime Minister wants to be able to strike deals
with non-EU countries, so Britain will not retain full membership of
the customs union. Instead, she wants some form of customs agreement
with the EU. Theresa May also said the UK may continue to make payments
to the EU after Brexit, but they won't be fast, whatever that means.
Finally, on transition, she wants a phased process of implementation on
any deal to avoid a disruptive cliff edge. Just finally, before the end
of the programme, to Reza Villas, your thoughts on what she said in
regard to a warning to the EU, if there were attempts to block a deal
or make a bad deal that wasn't going to be advantageous to Britain?
Underlying underlining the Chancellor's comments that Britain
could take action to protect the economy. Was that wise to threaten
when she had EU diplomats in front of her? It was certainly quite
tough. A very tough warning. I think it's only setting out the facts, in
terms of the options that would be open to us as an independent
country, able to take our own decisions. And become as Labour call
it, a bargain basement economy, making sure corporation even lower
than is being proposed. Is that what you would see? We have set the
direction of travel which in any event brings down corporation tax.
What I doubt would be on the agenda would be large-scale deregulation. I
think we would certainly want to look at the body of EU regulation
and see whether it's proportional, whether we want to do things
slightly differently. In a number of areas I think we keep it. I don't
think it would be a race to the bottom in terms of regulation. Will
you align yourself with Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats? No, I
think what the Prime Minister said was if the EU were not to give us a
good deal, it would be an act of calamitous self harm. Those were her
words. You agree? She threatened five or six times, she used our
intelligence services five or six times to back up that threat. You
rightly pointed out that she has spoken of a deregulated tax haven,
backing up what Philip Hammond has already threatened. I believe that
that threat, combined with this threat that maybe we would withdraw
our cooperation on intelligence services, is a deeply damaging, huge
moral mistake as well as a political one. All right, thank you very much
to both of you for sitting here with me while Theresa May gave that
critically important speech. That is all for today. Thanks to you and all
the guests on the show today. The one o'clock News started on BBC One
now. I will be back with Andrew tomorrow at 11:30am for PMQs.
Bye-bye. Join Michael Buerk as he explores
the dishes fit for kings and queens. When it comes to extravagance, few
monarchs can compete with George IV.
Jo Coburn introduces live coverage of Theresa May's Brexit speech.
Jo is joined by former Northern Ireland secretary and Leave campaigner Theresa Villiers, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner and work and pensions secretary Damian Green to discuss the prime minister's speech.