May Signals U.K. to Quit Single Market to Curb Immigration
by Thomas Penny
January 8, 2017, 6:47 AM EST
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May signaled regaining control of immigration and lawmaking are her Brexit priorities even if that means quitting Europe’s single market. The pound fell to a 10-week low.
In her first televised interview of the new year, May told Sky News on Sunday that leaving the European Union will be about “getting the right relationship, not about keeping bits of membership.”
“We are leaving. We are coming out. We are not going to be a member of the EU any longer, so the question is what is the right relationship for the U.K. to have with the European Union when we are outside,” she said. “We will be able to have control of our borders, control of our laws, but we still want the best possible deal for U.K. companies to be able to trade in and within the EU and European companies to operate and trade in the U.K.”
The comments suggest that with time running out before her own March 31 deadline to file for divorce, May is willing to gamble Britain’s trading relationship with its biggest market in return for greater sovereignty. Being part of the EU requires the U.K. to allow free movement of labor and to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
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