January 17, 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to the nation today on the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), revealing a 12-point plan which aims to strengthen Britain and its global reach.
Immigration featured alongside other important topics such as access to the single market and the development of a new free trade agreement with the EU.
The speech, which the PM named as being ‘comprehensive and well-considered’*, confirmed that the protection of the rights of EU citizens already in the UK will be a priority in the negotiations ahead and emphasised that citizens from the European Union will always be welcome in the UK. The continual need to attract the ‘brightest and the best’ to UK was also recognised by May.
Despite this and the acknowledgement of the value of migrants living, working and studying in the UK, Theresa May made it clear that controlling immigration from both inside and outside of the EU is also of the highest importance to the current government.
May did not confirm how the UK’s immigration policy will treat EU citizens wishing to come to the UK following our departure from the European Union. We conclude from this that new immigration policy for EU nationals coming to the UK is yet to be developed.
The UK as an open, successful trading nation was also a focus in the speech, made today from Lancaster House in London. According to May, the UK will seek the greatest possible access to the single trade market through a comprehensive free trade agreement.
The Prime Minister also looked further afield and emphasised the importance of rediscovering the UK’s role as a great global trading nation, and developing ‘a global Britain’ via relationships and trade agreements with some of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world.
The Prime Minister reassured listeners of a smooth transition following the UK’s departure and feels confident that the right deal can be struck for both Britain and the EU.
‘It is my job to get the right deal for Britain’ she said, and made clear that agreements which meet both the needs of the UK and EU nation are achievable.
Read the full speech here.
*All references made in this text refer to the Prime Minister’s speech made on 17.01.17 at 11:45 GMT