BREXIT PLAN: Theresa May will take the fight to the EU on ending free movement on Tuesday
In a hard-hitting speech outlining the Government’s negotiating position the Prime Minister will insist that ending free movement and reclaiming our sovereignty are “red lines” that she is not prepared to cross.
Hitting back at critics who have accused her of “muddled thinking” she will make the optimistic case for building “a truly Global Britain”.
She will also call for an end to the “insults” and “division” surrounding the Referendum vote and urge Brexiteers and Remainers to unite behind her unequivocal vision for leaving Europe.
But insiders say it is migration which will sound alarm bells in Brussels.
The EU has refused to budge on its insistence that access to the single market can only come together with free movement – meaning leaving the market is the only way to reclaim the borders.
Mrs May will say: “One of the reasons that Britain’s democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result.
“The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously.
“The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.
“The overwhelming majority of people, however they voted, say we need to get on and make Brexit happen.
“Business isn’t calling to reverse the result but planning to make a success of it. And the House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly for us to get on with it too.
“So the country is coming together. Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – Leaver and Remainer and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success of Brexit and build a truly Global Britain.”
A source close to the Prime Minister said Tuesday’s speech at Lancaster House would set out her “definitive plan for Brexit”.
The source added: “This is not just going to be an update but set out her key negotiating priorities.
“She is going to make it very clear that immigration and ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice are her unequivocal red lines.
“She will also finally set out the Government’s position on the single market and the customs union and explain how Britain plans to build a positive future outside the EU.”
Downing Street aides are understood to have spent the past two days rewriting the speech to ensure it sets out Number 10’s position as clearly as possible.
The original version of the speech was rejected because it did not send out a strong enough message.
It is understood that Mrs May’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy has penned the revised version and was still working on it last night.
The speech will make it clear that Britain is prepared to walk away unless it gets the deal it wants and will express the UK’s willingness to trade under World Trade Organisation rules if necessary, which allows members to negotiate reciprocal tariffs between themselves.
She will indicate that the UK is set to withdraw from the single market and most likely the customs union – however the Government will try to negotiate a bespoke agreement with the EU to ensure trade can continue as smoothly as possible.
Mrs May will say she wants a “new and positive” relationship with our European neighbours as well as pursuing free trade deals with non-EU countries.
Last Sunday the Prime Minister gave the strongest hint yet that Britain will leave the single market, saying she was not interested in trying to “keep bits of membership of the EU”.
She added: “Often people talk in terms as if we are leaving the EU but we still want to keep bits of membership of the EU. We’re leaving, we’re coming out.”