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Full Speech

May European Brexit Statement

The Prime Minister of Britain has spoken in Florence on the exit of Britain from the European Union. She says this is part of the development and evolution of the EU. She says that Britain will remain a great friend of the EU. She wants to look towards the future of Europe, for all of the citizens of all the nations of Europe. She states that Britain has decided to leave the EU, to become a globally open economic area. She says that this is a defining moment for Britain.

May is committed to being a strong friend of Europe and its insitutions. To allow both Britain and EU nations to trive side-by-side.

May was speaking at her meetings with Italian defence forces who are working with British defence forces to, as she puts it, "save lives in the Mediterranean and crack down on the evil traffickers who are exploiting desperate men, women and children who seek a better life." She spoke of how both nations were fighting against the rise of terrorism.

She also commented on her meeting with the Italian Prime Minister and the French President at the UN, where they met with "industry to move further and faster in preventing terrorist use of the Internet."

The first part of her statement was to protect nations against the growth of terrorism, illegal immigration and territoriality aggression. All of which she believes has lead to "the loss of popular support for the forces of liberalism and free trade that is driving moves towards protectionism".

She says in these areas that she will work with other like minded nations and allies to protect "the values of liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law by which we stand."

She expressed the will of the British people to leave the EU. To have those directly elected by them to have direct control over their daily lives. She called on all European nations to "demonstrate that creativity, that innovation, that ambition that we need to shape a new partnership to the benefit of all our people."

She points to the work carried out by David Davis and Michel Barnier, and the important work to be done for Northern Ireland.

She will continue to work with the EU and the Irish Government to insure to retain the "progress made in Northern Ireland over recent years – and the lives and livelihoods that depend on this progress."

The Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area that exists between Ireland and Britain will continue and all sides are committed to this. She says "We owe it to the people of Northern Ireland – and indeed to everyone on the island of Ireland - to see through these commitments."

For other nations of Europe she says "But I want to repeat to the 600,000 Italians in the UK – and indeed to all EU citizens who have made their lives in our country – that we want you to stay; we value you; and we thank you for your contribution to our national life – and it has been, and remains, one of my first goals in this negotiation to ensure that you can carry on living your lives as before."

She will seek out a new trade agreement with the EU. The EEA agreement is a non-starter for her as she says " would mean the UK having to adopt at home - automatically and in their entirety - new EU rules. Rules over which, in future, we will have little influence and no vote." and as for the Canadian deal recently signed it could take years to negotiate such a deal, rather she wants to see the formation of new deals from existing trade deals. "Not only that, it would start from the false premise that there is no pre-existing regulatory relationship between us. And precedent suggests that it could take years to negotiate."

She pointed to the ways in which many of the non-EU nations have agreements in place, and that there "no need to impose tariffs where we have none now, and I don’t think anyone sensible is contemplating this."

She re-iterated her support to work for both the economic and security of all nations with the EU and that Britain "will cease to be a member of the European Union on 29th March 2019. We will no longer sit at the European Council table or in the Council of Ministers, and we will no longer have Members of the European Parliament."