On the 2nd of March 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May made another speech about Brexit and our future relationship with the European Union.
To be honest, there was little in the speech that was new or original, but there were a few sections we would like to highlight.
“Others have suggested we negotiate a free trade agreement similar to that which Canada has recently negotiated with the EU – or trade on World Trade Organisation terms.
But these options would mean a significant reduction in our access to each other’s markets compared to that which we currently enjoy. And this would mean customs and regulatory checks at the border that would damage the integrated supply chains that our industries depend on and be inconsistent with the commitments that both we and the EU have made in respect of Northern Ireland.”
On these points, Mrs May is correct. Neither a CETA or a WTO option Brexit would be good for the UK; as we discuss here.
Mrs May is also insisting that we leave the Single Market, despite admitting some of the problems that would cause:
“I want to be straight with people – because the reality is that we all need to face up to some hard facts.
We are leaving the single market. Life is going to be different. In certain ways, our access to each other’s markets will be less than it is now.”
This admission is markedly different from her comments in March 2017 in which she said that we would “trade freely into the European Single Market…the same benefits in terms of that free access to trade”