Tuesday 16 October 2018

May's irrational fantasy is not as simple as A, B or C

A fourth speech by the British prime minister makes her position on Brexit no clearer, writes Colm McCarthy

UK prime minister Theresa May on Friday delivering her speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit. Photo: Peter Nicholls
UK prime minister Theresa May on Friday delivering her speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit. Photo: Peter Nicholls
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

Theresa May's peroration in London last Friday was her fourth major speech on Brexit since she assumed the office of prime minister in July 2016.

The first was at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham the following October, which set the strident tone for what followed at Lancaster House in January 2017. There she affirmed explicitly her government's hostility to the EU's single market and customs union, and she has never deviated since.

The UK seeks a long-term trading relationship with the EU-27 which is quite simply impossible. There can be no 'frictionless trade' or 'deep and special relationship' with the internal market outside its treaty-bound structures.

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