The British Prime Minister has made what many are calling one of her most important speeches on Brexit. Theresa May laid out plans for a two-year transition period for leaving the European Union.
CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports.
May arrived in Florence, Italy determined to be upbeat. She called on the European Union’s Brexit negotiators to be imaginative and creative, making the case for a special trade deal.
“The U.K. is the EU’s largest trading partner, one of the largest economies in the world, and a market of considerable importance for businesses and jobs across the continent,” May said. “The EU is our largest trading partner. So, it is in all our interests to find a creative solution.”
The Prime Minister assured EU leaders that post-Brexit Britain would continue to cooperate on security, intelligence and defense. May also said the U.K. would pay its full dues during the two-year transition period.
“The UK will honor commitments during the period of our membership. And as we move forward, we will also want to continue to work in ways that promote the long term economic development of our continent.”
There was no mention from the prime minister, however, of the figure some U.K. media cite as the cost to exit the EU. While some have claimed it will cost Britain around 20 billion euro, European leaders said the actual figure could be as high as 80 billion euro.
May also said again that “no deal was better than a bad deal,” which will unnerve British industry, which still sees no government plans in place for a “cliff edge” Brexit.