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May tells United Kingdom it must face hard facts about Brexit

May tells United Kingdom it must face hard facts about Brexit

May said a Brexit deal on financial services could and should be part of Britain's new relationship with the European Union, despite the EU's refusal so far to allow Britain to pick and choose which part of its bloc's single market it wants to keep full access to if it does not play by the EU's rules.

"Life is going to be different", she said.

At Lancaster House a year ago, the prime minister laid down her red lines, promising to leave the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). NFU President Minette Batters responded to the speech, and said that the future trading relationship with the European Union is "one of the most critical issues" facing British farming.

The second is a "highly streamlined customs arrangement" part of which would include small traders in Northern Ireland being exempted from all customs procedures for cross-border trade.

Weber, who leads the parliament's biggest bloc, tweeted: "After what I have heard today I am even more concerned".

"I don't see how we could reach an agreement on Brexit if the United Kingdom government continues to bury its head in the sand like this", he said.

In a speech Friday, May said that would break up the U.K.'s common market and is unacceptable.

However, others were less pleased about the UK's commitment to leave the Digital Single Market.

May, who has ruled out staying in the single market or a customs union, talked about a need for reciprocal "binding commitments" and an independent arbitration system.

Northern Ireland will have Britain's only land border with the European Union after Brexit, as the Republic of Ireland is remaining in the bloc, and all parties want to avoid a hard border, over fears it could upset the island's fragile peace. She didn't outline specifics on what such an arrangement would look like.

Mrs May¿s speech in London was all about reality and compromise without defeat
Mrs May’s speech in London was all about reality and compromise without defeat

The Prime Minister's speech received a warm response from many Conservatives, with pro-EU MPs such as Nicky Morgan and Sarah Wollaston saying it had provided much-needed detail on the UK's plans.

Mujtaba Rahman, a Eurasia Group analyst, said that although May's speech "feels superficially more realistic, it does not really address the EU's core concerns".

One EU official involved in the negotiating process said May's focus on a need to match EU standards and take part as an associate member in some EU regulatory agencies was welcome and believed that her suggestion the EU's court play some role, if only indirectly, in supervising Britain was reasonable.

"May was preparing the ground for medicine that both factions in the Conservative Party's heated debate on Europe will find hard to swallow", he wrote.

The Prime Minister challenged the European Commission's insistence that "cherry-picking" of EU rights and obligations can not be allowed.

The speech comes at the end of a rough week for May.

"What we want to do is have a close economic partnership, which allows the British economy to thrive, but also full control of our laws".

But Barnier made no comment on May's assertions that Britain could achieve "frictionless" trade and secure European Union recognition for its own, independent regulations. If Brexit flops, he said, "there will be the most awful backlash".

"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". The EU's existing agreements with Norway and Canada were unsuitable because they would hurt supply chains and make it hard to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, she said.

"We are now approaching a crucial moment", she told ambassadors and business leaders in the Mansion House, the 18th-century official home of the Lord Mayor of London in the heart of the capital's financial district.

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