Theresa May has made her Brexit speech with a view to giving clarity to businesses and moving negotiations forward.
A more honest and generous approach has been praised by many. However, business groups and politicians are demanding further detail from the Prime Minister.
Here’s what we’ve learned from the much anticipated Brexit speech…
Bexit day will not be the cut-off
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Britain will seek to remain in EU institutions beyond Brexit. A transitional phrase will mean that Britain’s current relationship with the EU’s markets should “continue on current terms”. Businesses are told to expect this phase to last two to three years from the Brexit cut-off deadline of March 2019. The government claims this is to provide a “smooth and orderly” exit and give reassurance to British businesses.
We will stay in the single market – for now!
Well, for a few more years at least, if Theresa May gets her way! UK businesses would continue to have unfettered access to 500 million customers in states within it until the end of the proposed period. This eliminates tariffs and reduces costs and administration.
There will be a continuation of free movement
This will affect employment for small businesses. Until the transitional phase expires, citizens from the UK and EU will be able to travel to and from Britain with ease. However, Theresa May suggested that there will be a registration process for those arriving from the EU.
Britain will continue to pay
Payments to the EU will continue for years after Brexit. This “generous offer” is being dangled as a carrot to help restart negotiations and unlock a positive trade deal that is crucial to businesses.
European judges will still have power
All matters within the zone will continue to be policed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This is at least until the transitional period is at an end! Some believe that this will give clarity to British businesses about which laws apply to them when interacting throughout Europe. However, others are dissatisfied with the costs and laws that will continue as a result.