Britain will quit the EU single market, Prime Minister Theresa May stated on Tuesday in a speech that set a course for a break with the world's largest trading bloc.
Setting out a vision that could determine the future of Britain and the shape of the European Union, Theresa May answered criticism that she has been coy about her strategy with a 12-point plan, which has been dubbed a "hard Brexit".
May acknowledged that those measures would require withdrawing from the market of 500 million people, founded on principles of free movement of goods and people.
More details on the plans of Theresa May:
The media had been briefed on some of the points in Theresa May's speech, and the expectation that she would signal a hard Brexit had caused the british pound to fall on markets from the start of this week.
For many years, many britons have disliked the European Union because they think that they have lost authority and see the EU as an abstacle for their development and growth.
Currency markets rallied during the speech itself, especially when Theresa May declared that parliament would be given a vote on the final stages of Britain's exit, seen as a steadying influence. The sterling rose 2.9 percent against the dollar on the day, which is the biggest rally in a single day since at least 1998.
In an interesting speech, May also said that the U.K. would seek:
- A free-trade agreement with the European Union outside the single market.
- A new customs relationship that would allow Britain to negotiate trade agreements around the world, with "frictionless" cross-border trade.
- A "phased implementation process" at the last stage of the two-year negotiations, rather than a lengthy transitional agreement.
- Unrestricted immigration in Britain that comes from the European Union will be over.
- Britain will withdraw from the European Court of Justice.