17th January 2017
Theresa May’s speech at Lancaster House today confidently stated the UK's proposed approach to Brexit negotiations, placing a significant focus on international trade. The vision expressed by the Prime Minister was one of a global Britain, using this moment of change to build a stronger economy.
But what does this mean for UK businesses? Here are our highlights:
1. We will not seek to be a member of the single market but we will seek the greatest possible access to the single market in a free trade agreement.
2. We will try to retain some of the elements of the customs union but we will not seek to be a full member.
3. Workers’ rights deriving from the EU will be fully maintained and the Government will seek to build on these.
4. There was a clear determination to make trade as easy as possible for UK businesses, removing as many barriers to trade as possible.
5. Securing the position of EU citizens resident in the UK (and UK citizens in the EU) is a priority.
6. Whilst the clear intention is to control immigration, it is recognised that we must remain open to international talent.
7. Both houses of Parliament will be voting on the final Brexit deal.
8. The Government will seek to achieve a phased approach to Brexit and they anticipate there will be transitional arrangements.
9. It is recognised that businesses desire certainty. Where possible, the Government will provide clarity, although they will not provide a running commentary.
10. It was made very clear that the UK will not accept a punitive deal. Theresa May insisted that no deal is better than a bad deal.
The Prime Minister’s speech has provided an element of clarity, and the expressed vision for a global Britain as a great trading nation is welcomed. The devil will be in the detail, however, and we will publish further commentary and detail in due course.