Tuesday 17 January 2017

Key points from Theresa May's Brexit speech

Theresa May has delivered her speech on the British government's approach to Brexit.

The key points are:

  • MPs and peers will get a vote on the final EU deal
  • Ministers from devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and NI will get a seat at the negotiating table but nobody representing England's interests
  • EU law will all be transposed into domestic legislation
  • The UK is prepared to guarantee the rights of EU immigrants in the UK now but some EU member states are refusing to agree to do the same for UK immigrants in the EU
  • Keeping the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland is a priority
  • Free trade agreement with the EU but not membership of the single market
  • Payments into the EU budget will end
  • Retain parts of the EU customs union but not those parts that prevent the UK making its own comprehensive trade agreements
  • Continue to collaborate with the EU on crime and terrorism
  • Transitionary period of disengagement rather than a hard stop of EU membership
The Prime Minister talks a good talk but this is just a shopping list. We voted to leave half a year ago and we are no closer than we were then. She has refused to commit to introducing the same immigration controls on EU citizens as we do on non-EU immigrants and she is aiming to drag out our membership for some time after Brexit is supposed to happen on the pretext of limiting disruption. There is a serious risk that this Brexit-lite will become a strategic, rather than tactical solution - especially if Labour get rid of Corbyn and get the Tories out of power - and we won't actually leave.