British prime minister: UK will not seek 'half in, half out' Brexit

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
Last Update: 07:21
In a speech set for Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May is poised to signal a clean break from the EU - including its single market. Fears of that outcome have pushed down the value of the British pound.British Prime Minister Theresa May is due on Tuesday to outline her plans for leaving the EU. According to speech excerpts released by May΄s office, she will say the UK will not seek a deal that keeps the UK "half in, half out" of the EU, but a complete severance with the EU, also known as a "hard" Brexit.

"Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half in, half out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave," the speech excerpts read.

The extracts from May΄s office do not state explicitly what trading arrangement she envisions with the EU, nor do they disclose the 12 objectives for severance talks with the EU that May intends to present. The transcripts do state the UK and EU "will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends."

British media have reported the 12 priorities due to be presented include leaving the EU single market and regaining full control of the UK΄s borders.

Effect on the pound

The British pound sterling fell to a three-month low against the US dollar on Monday, shrinking to $1.1983.

"Given the high uncertainty, the pound΄s volatility will be elevated in the near term, although in the mid- to longer-term, we are not that bearish on the pound," said Barclays senior FX and rates strategist Shinichiro Kadota.

May has kept details about the details of what the UK is looking for in upcoming Brexit talks close to her chest before Tuesday΄s speech, worrying investors, businesses and lawmakers. May plans to begin formal talks with the EU on exiting the bloc by the end of March. k

bd/gsw (dpa, Reuters)

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