British Prime Minister Calls For New Trading Relationship With EU
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that Britain will have an entirely new trading relationship with Europe post Brexit, causing the pound to slide further on fears that her remarks indicate a total withdrawal from EU’s single market.
Hinting at a fresh look in the relationship between the two, she stated that Brexit was not about keeping just some parts of EU membership.
In a statement Theresa May said
It will be a new relationship because we won’t be members of the EU any longer. We will be outside the European Union and therefore we will be negotiating a new relationship across not just trading but other areas with the European Union
With the stated March 31 deadline for triggering the Brexit fast approaching, markets are reacting to the perception that the government will pursue a hard Brexit.The pound has been dropping consistently since referendum results in June 2016. May however blamed the media for interpreting her comments to be in favour of a hard Brexit. She said that her government’s focus was to get an ambitious and best-possible deal for trading with the EU.
Conservative lawmaker Andrew Tyrie who heads the Treasury Committee has called upon May to provide clarity on her government’s approach to exiting the EU particularly given the need for having board-based support for the Brexit plan within the country. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond responded subsequently saying that UK’s stance on the trading relationship with Europe was yet to be decided. Speaking to the media, Hammond clarified that decisions are yet to be taken on key aspects like which trading structure would be beneficial, adding that the current thinking was to instead start with finalizing the objectives to be achieved and an understanding of the political limitations on both sides.
May has said that building strong relationships with the rest of the world was an important priority after Brexit. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was in the United States recently and met with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, President-elect Donald Trump’s advisors as well as senators.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has called for a referendum to be held on the deal negotiated by May pointing out that the economy is at risk from her decisions. Public opinion is still in favour of closing the border as shown by results of a poll by ORB International that found 46 percent of respondents putting immigration control ahead of free trade with the EU. EU leaders have however warned that access to single market will be provided to the UK only if it agrees to free labor movement.
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