LONDON — Theresa May will on Tuesday rule out any Brexit deal that leaves Britain “half-in, half-out” of the EU, as she sets the country on course for a hard Brexit.
The prime minister will reject any settlement that amounts to “partial membership” of the EU, suggesting that the UK will leave both the single market and the customs union.
“We seek a new and equal partnership — between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU,” she will say in a speech at Lancaster House.
“Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out.”
May will effectively rule out calls for the UK to adopt a Norway-style single market deal.
“We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave,” she will say.
May will insist that Brexit gives Britain the chance to “ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be” and reject claims that it will leave Britain isolated on the global stage.
“I want us to be a truly global Britain — the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too. A country that gets out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike,” she is expected to say.
“I want Britain to be what we have the potential and ambition to be: A great, global trading nation that is respected around the world and strong, confident, and united at home.”
The prime minister will also set out for the first time her “12 negotiating priorities” and “four key principles” for negotiations with the EU.
She will also implicitly distance herself from claims by Donald Trump this week that Brexit will lead to the break-up of the EU and insist that it is in Britain’s interest for the EU to succeed.
The speech will be delivered at Lancaster House, which is currently occupied by the Foreign Office, to an audience of diplomats and ambassadors. Downing Street said the venue had been deliberately chosen to send a message about Britain’s new role in the world.
“This will be a speech about setting out the role we are going to forge for Britain as we leave the European Union, our greater role in the world and how we carve a role for ourselves as a global Britain,” A Downing Street source said.
“In that context it seems right to go to a building that is historically intrinsically part of Britain’s engagement with the world.”
Full excerpts from Theresa May’s speech:
“A little over six months ago the British people voted for change. They voted to shape a brighter future for our country. They voted to leave the European Union and embrace the world.
“And they did so with their eyes open: Accepting that the road ahead will be uncertain at times, but believing that it leads towards a brighter future for their children — and their grandchildren too.
“And it is the job of this government to deliver it. That means more than negotiating our new relationship with the EU. It means taking the opportunity of this great moment of national change to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.
“My answer is clear. I want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country — a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly Global Britain — the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too. A country that gets out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.
“I want Britain to be what we have the potential and ambition to be: A great, global trading nation that is respected around the world and strong, confident and united at home.”
“Our vote to leave the European Union was no rejection of the values we share. The decision to leave the EU represents no desire to become more distant to you, our friends and neighbours.”
“We will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends. We want to buy your goods, sell you ours, trade with you as freely as possible, and work with one another to make sure we are all safer, more secure and more prosperous through continued friendship.”
She will go on to say:
“We seek a new and equal partnership — between an independent, self-governing, Global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU.”
“Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave.”
“The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. My job is to get the right deal for Britain as we do.”
“We have 12 objectives that amount to one big goal: a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union.
“And as we negotiate that partnership, we will be driven by some simple principles: we will provide as much certainty and clarity as we can at every stage. And we will take this opportunity to make Britain stronger, to make Britain fairer, and to build a more Global Britain too.”
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