Theresa May sets out five tests for Brexit deal

Prime minister will say that government is seeking “the broadest and deepest possible agreement” after the UK leaves the European Union

Photo: PA

By Kevin Schofield

02 Mar 2018

Theresa May will vow to strike the most ambitious trade deal with the EU that the world has ever seen after Brexit as she set out five key tests to judge the agreement.

In a major speech at London's Mansion House entitled 'Our Future Partnership', the prime minister will say her number one aim is to "to take control of our borders, laws and money" - a clear sign that she will not retreat from her plan to take Britain out of the single market and customs union.

She will say the deal she strikes with Brussels "must protect people’s jobs and security" while also ensuring that the UK leaves the EU as "a modern, open, outward-looking, tolerant, European democracy".


May will also say that the Brexit deal must "strengthen our union of nations and our union of people" despite the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, while England and Wales did not.

She will say: "These are the five tests for the deal that we negotiate: Implementing the decision of the British people; reaching an enduring solution; protecting our security and prosperity; delivering an outcome that is consistent with the kind of country we want to be; and bringing our country together, strengthening the precious union of all our people."

This should be “the broadest and deepest possible agreement – covering more sectors and co-operating more fully than any free trade agreement anywhere in the world today” May will say.

"I believe that is achievable because it is in the EU’s interests as well as ours and because of our unique starting point, where on day one we both have the same laws and rules.

"So rather than having to bring two different systems closer together, the task will be to manage the relationship once we are two separate legal systems."

The Cabinet met on Thursday to discuss May's speech, with many ministers demanding last-minute changes to the text.

The prime minister also discussed it with EU Council president Donald Tusk over lunch in Downing Street - and warned him that Brussels proposals which would see Northern Ireland remain in the customs union after Brexit were "unacceptable".

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