- Theresa May appeared on “The Andrew Marr Show” Sunday morning.
- Marr questioned the prime minister on the bluntness of her long-awaited Brexit speech, which took place on Friday.
- “I think it’s important to be straight with people,” May said.
In a pre-recorded interview, UK Prime Minister Theresa May appeared on the BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday morning.
During the interview, Theresa May defended her Brexit vision laid out in her speech on Friday.
“I was being straight with people,” the prime minister said after Marr called the speech “blunt.”
“One of the messages behind the speech was to say to people… the time for arguing either side of the referendum has gone,” May said.
May urged the EU to “get on with” discussing her vision for economic relations with the UK.
The “right deal for us will be the right deal for them too,” the prime minister told Marr.
May did concede, though, that as part of Britain’s withdrawal from the single market, banks would lose financial passporting. Passporting rules allow finance companies in the EU to sell their services across the bloc with a local licence, rather than getting a licence to operate in each member country where it does business.
“If we were to accept passporting, we would just be a rule-taker,” she said. “We would have to abide by their rules which were being set elsewhere.
“Given the importance of financial stability, we can’t just take the same rules without any say in them.”
In her long-anticipated speech on Friday, May admitted for the first time that leaving the single market would have damaging repercussions for Britain’s economy: “The reality is we all need to face up to some hard facts. We are leaving the single market, our access to each other’s markets will be less than it is now.”
She insisted, though, that any damage would be lessened by negotiating a new trade deal with the EU which would be “the broadest and deepest possible agreement – covering more sectors and co-operating more fully than any free trade agreement anywhere in the world today.”
The speech was not well received by everyone. In an interview with the Observer, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine said: “The speech just moves us further down the cherry-picking road. It set out the cherries that Britain wants to pick but that approach completely ignores the fact that the EU has said, ‘sorry there is no cherry picking’.”
He added: “Why is it that after 18 months since the referendum we have not got any closer with these issues? The answer is simple: because no one has got any answer about how to do it.”