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Theresa May to set out Brexit vision on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Theresa May will set out her approach for Brexit in line with a “global Britain”. She could start by showing how welcoming and open Britain is to the EU citizens already here.


Following a rather muddled start to the new year, Theresa May has set a date for what papers are calling a “major speech” on Brexit. A Downing Street spokeswoman said that the prime minister will set out “more on our approach to Brexit”. Here’s the quote from the Mirror’s report:

She will be making a speech on Tuesday, setting out more on our approach to Brexit, as part of preparing for the negotiations and in line with our approach for global Britain and continuing to be an outward-looking nation.”

Spokeswoman for the prime minister

So all eyes and ears will be on the prime minister on Tuesday. With the government not due to publish a Brexit plan until February at the earliest, it’s unlikely that there will be anything definitive in the speech. Following a motion by MPs last year, the Brexit secretary David Davis said that the government would publish a Brexit plan. However, he did not commit to how much detail there would be.

On Tuesday, people will be looking for any hints as to what her priorities are for a new relationship with the EU. Will it be immigration control over the single market? Will they pursue a transitional deal? And based on how the markets react, will there be some re-clarification like we saw after Sunday’s TV interview and the pound dipped?

We may also get a little bit more from the government once the Supreme Court has delivered its verdict on their appeal over Article 50. A verdict is expected sometime this month.

For a global Britain, show that Britain is welcoming and open

The most positive thing that could come out of the speech is if she were to commit to granting all EU citizens already living in the UK the right to remain. There has been overwhelming support for the prime minister to do so – and to do so in advance of negotiations. Since the referendum, Britain has looked less welcoming to the EU. The FT reported how farms are finding it harder to fill vacancies. And yesterday, MPs heard how students were dissuaded from coming here due to “anti-immigrant” sentiment. A survey of academics also found that 76% of non-UK EU staff were considering leaving.

Today, Tristam Hunt has announced that he is resigning as an MP to take on the position of director at the V&A. Why was there a vacancy? Because the previous director, Martin Roth, resigned citing “his disillusionment at the Brexit vote” for his departure.

Theresa May, saying to those EU citizens that they are welcome here is one sure-fire way to show that you want to build a global Britain that is open for business.

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Lords: “Moral obligation” to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK


Image: Theresa May © Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock, Inc.
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