Theresa May has outlined her vision for the future UK-EU relationship, as she warned the bloc that refusing to include financial services in a trade deal after Brexit would “hurt” its own economies.

In a major speech at Mansion House in London, she said a deal with Brussels should be the first free trade agreement to cover broadcasting and financial services. 

The Prime Minister also said Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, will set out his plans for financial services next week, but said “we are not looking for passporting”.

In an attempt to address the contentious issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Ms May said it is the responsibility of the UK Government and the European Commission to find a solution. 

She also sought to highlight “tensions” in the EU’s position as she set out “five tests” for the UK’s future relationship with the bloc after withdrawal. 

As it happened…

Live Updates

2 days ago

Speaking at the Mansion House in the City of London – after the venue was switched from the North East due to the weather conditions – Mrs May will be setting out “five tests” to guide Britain’s approach to the continuing negotiations.

They are:

– The agreement must respect the outcome of the referendum vote to “take control of our borders, laws and money”.

– The agreement must endure, without the need to return to the negotiating table “because things have broken down”.

– It must protect jobs and security, with Britain and the EU continuing to pursue the “shared goals” of growing their economies while keeping their people safe.

– It must be consistent with Britain remaining “a modern, open, outward-looking, tolerant, European democracy” that stands by its international obligations.

– It must strengthen “our union of nations and our union of people”.​ 

2 days ago

Tory MPs will be watching Ms May’s closely for different reasons. Remainers want to see whether the Prime Minister will offer details of what kind of customs arrangement will be offered, while Brexiteers will be watching carefully for any sign the future relationship is looking too similar to a customs union, which Downing Street has repeatedly ruled out.

2 days ago

2 days ago

Today’s speech will lay out what the Cabinet’s Brexit sub-committee agreed during a lengthy meeting at Chequers last week. 
 
The full Cabinet was given a preview yesterday, and repots suggest there was a fairly robust debate on the contents of the speech.
 
One minister said afterwards that there had been “broad agreement” – hardly the language of complete unity…
 

 
 
 

2 days ago

Theresa May has already been accused of repeating “empty slogans” – and she hasn’t even started speaking yet.
 
The few sections of the speech that Downing Street released last night were criticised by Remainers as being too vague.
 
Labour MP Chuka Umunna said the Prime Minister was in “fantasy land”, while Lord Adonis said the speech had come 20 months too late.
 
Joe Watts‘ full story here: 

Theresa May accused of empty slogans as she sets out plan to secure ‘best trade deal in the world’

Theresa May will vow to secure the most comprehensive trade deal “anywhere in the world” as she sets out five tests any Brexit agreement must meet. She will pledge to secure the unprecedented deal covering goods and services in her latest major Brexit speech on Friday – but has already been accused by domestic critics of proffering “empty slogans”.

2 days ago

At Liam Fox‘s big speech earlier in the week, the pro-EU Open Britain group handed out packets of crisps after a former senior UK diplomat suggested leaving the customs union akin to “giving up a three-course meal for the promise of a packet of crisps”.
 
Today, Open Britain are outside Mansion House giving out cake to people attending Theresa May’s speech. The UK Government has been accused of trying to have its cake and eat it – journalists turning up for the speech this afternoon will no doubt be happy to do both.
 

2 days ago

The area around Mansion House, where Theresa May will give her big Brexit speech, is full of “Road Closed” signs. It’s not the best of metaphors for the Prime Minister as she lays out her plan for the, er, road ahead…
 

2 days ago

Not long to go now. The Prime Minister’s due to speak at 1.30pm, so don’t go anywhere…

2 days ago

Earlier today Tory grandee Lord Heseltine claimed that, whatever Ms May says this afternoon, it is inevitable that some Conservative voters will accept Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister if it means Brexit could be stopped. Here’s Rob Merrick‘s report:
 

Some Tory voters will accept Corbyn as PM if Brexit can be stopped, says Lord Heseltine

Some Conservative voters will accept Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister if it means Brexit can be stopped, Lord Heseltine says. Voters under 40, in particular, are ready to “risk the short-term damage of a Corbyn government” than go ahead with the “calamitous mistake” of leaving the EU, the Tory peer said.

2 days ago

Freedom of movement between the EU and the UK will end after Brexit; for Boris Johnson it already has. The Foreign Secretary will miss today’s speech after getting stuck in Hungary. He was meant to be back in time to attend but the extreme weather has put paid to that. It’s unclear whether he’ll be tuning in from Budapest or ditching the PM in favour of some sight-seeing…

2 days ago

The Prime Minister is late in giving her speech. 20 months late, according to Lord Adonis and the pro-EU Open Britain group. Currently five minutes late, according to the clock…

2 days ago

The wording behind Theresa May famously fell off during her conference speech last year. Downing Street appears to have taken steps to avoid a repeat.
 

2 days ago

Open the popcorn, turn up the volume. Theresa May is speaking now…

2 days ago

Theresa May starts by quoting from the speech she gave upon entering Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister. 
 
She tells the public she is motivated “not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours”, adding: “When we take the big calls we think not of the powerful but of you.”
 
This is what guides her in negotiations with the EU, she says.

2 days ago

The Prime Minister lays out the five tests she says a Brexit deal must pass:
 
1. It must respect the referendum result
2. It must pass the test of time
3. It must protect protect jobs and security
4. It must result in a Britain that is “modern, open, outward-looking, tolerant'”
5. It must strengthen the “precious union of all our people”

2 days ago

On the issue of the Northern Ireland border, Ms May says it is not acceptable to say the UK will not put up a border and if the EU does so than it will be their fault:
 
“We chose to leave and we have a responsibility to help find a solution”
 
“I am not going to let our departure from the European Union set back the historic progress we have made in Northern Ireland.”

2 days ago

There’s not much movement from Ms May yet. She once again rejects the option of a Norway-style model, does the same for a Canada-type deal and insists the UK will not be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice after Brexit…

2 days ago

First image of Theresa May speaking, courtesy of Rex…

 
 

2 days ago

The PM says she is confident a deal is possible because it is in the EU’s interests as well as the UK’s.
 
She wants the “broadest and deepest possible agreement, covering more sectors and co-operating more fully than any free trade agreement anywhere in the world”.
 
Ms May is now laying out the five conditions she says a trade deal must include:
 
1. “Reciprocal and binding” commitments to ensure fair and open competition
2. An arbitration mechanism to ensure disagreements can be resolved “fairly and promptly”
3. The means for an ongoing dialogue between the UK and EU, particularly between regulators
4. An arrangement for data protection
5. Maintaining the links between people in the UK and EU – a mutual guarantee of citizens’ rights
 

2 days ago

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