Theresa May's Speech Was Sweet And Sour

Theresa May's Speech Was Sweet And Sour

In a tone removed from earlier caustic talks, the prime minister said she recognized the EU's principles, and called for compromise with Brussels' Brexit negotiators.

Following is a summary of the main points made by May in her speech.

While generally hitting a conciliatory tone toward her European counterparts, she hit back at EU criticism that she's trying to cherry pick, saying she doesn't want a deal that reflects an imbalance of rights and obligations.

"Neither of us can have exactly what we want", May said. "Whilst I welcome the Prime Minister's recognition that we should make the most of the opportunities presented by our withdrawal, now is the time for detail to be placed on the table", the NFU President said. "We must not only negotiate our exit from an organization that touches so many important parts of our national life, we must also build a new and lasting relationship while, given the uncertainty inherent in this negotiation, preparing for every scenario".

"And fifth, in doing all of these things, it must strengthen our union of nations and our union of people".

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She read out a long list of problems but failed to provide solutions, particularly on the urgent question of preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland, " he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called Friday for a wide-ranging free trade deal with the European Union after Brexit, but admitted it was time to face the "hard facts" about the economic consequences of leaving the bloc.

Setting out her desire for a deal "tailored to the needs of our economies", May insisted that all free trade agreements offered varying market access depending on the interests of the countries involved.

European Union and United Kingdom officials will be expected to discuss Mrs May's proposals on the border when they meet for technical talks from Monday to Wednesday in Brussels, which will also look at citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the terms of the transition.

Mr Barnier urged British politicians to face up to hard choices raised by the decision to leave the EU.

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"May needed to move beyond vague aspirations", Verhofstadt said."While I welcome the call for a deep and special partnership, this can not be achieved by putting a few extra cherries on the Brexit cake".

She rejected staying in the customs union- which the Labour party and some Conservative EU rebels want - and instead set out options for a customs arrangement that would keep trade as frictionless as possible.

But German MEP Manfred Weber - an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel and leader of the centre-right EPP grouping in the European Parliament - said: "I don't see how we could reach an agreement on Brexit if the UK Government continues to bury its head in the sand like this".

"Abandoning such ideas will enable us to begin building an ambitious future partnership based on the foundation of realism and in the interests of our citizens and our businesses, and this is my objective".

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