March 2, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 4 months ago

Highlights: Britain's May sets out Brexit vision for trade deal deeper than any other

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will set out her vision on Friday for a Brexit deal deeper and wider than any free trade agreement in the world, telling the European Union it is in their “shared interest”.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech about her vision for Brexit, at Mansion House in London, Britain, March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Brady/Pool

Below are the highlights from her speech:

MAY ON IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD

“We are close to agreement on the terms of the implementation period which was a key element in the December deal.”

“Both the UK and EU are clear this implementation period must be time limited and cannot become a permanent solution.”

MAY ON COMPLEXITY OF TASK AHEAD

“We are now approaching a crucial moment. There is no escaping the complexity of the task ahead of us. We must not only negotiate our exit from an organization that touches so many important parts of our national life, we must also build a new and lasting relationship while, given the uncertainty inherent in this negotiation, preparing for every scenario.”

MAY ON NEED FOR ARBITRATION MECHANISM

“We will need an arbitration mechanism that is completely independent, something which again is common to free trade agreements. This will ensure that any disagreements about the purpose or scope of the agreement can be resolved fairly and promptly.”

MAY ON UK MEMBERSHIP OF EU AGENCIES

“We will also want to explore with the EU how the UK could remain part of the EU agencies, such as the chemicals, medicines and aerospace industries.

“We would of course accept that this would mean abiding by the rules of those organizations and making an appropriate financial contribution.”

MAY ON NORTHERN IRELAND

“Successive British governments have worked tirelessly together with all the parties in Northern Ireland and with the Irish government to bring about the historic achievement of peace. This is an agreement that we have all worked hard to protect. That is why I have consistently put holding up the Belfast agreement at the heart of our approach.

“Our departure poses particular challenges for Northern Ireland and for Ireland. We joined the EU together 45 years ago and it’s not surprising that our decision to leave has caused anxiety and a desire for concrete solutions.

“We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Northern Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border and related checks and controls, but it’s not good enough to say “we won’t enforce it if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them”.

We chose to leave and we have a responsibility to help find a solution. But we can’t do it on our own, it is for all of us to work together. And the Taoiseach and I agreed our teams should now do just that.

“Just as it would be unacceptable to go back to a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, it would also be unacceptable to break up the United Kingdom’s own common market by making a customs and regulatory border down the Irish sea.”

Compiled by Sarah Young, Elizabeth Burden and Elisabeth O'Leary

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