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Theresa May sets out 'hard facts' on Brexit in speech

Theresa May sets out 'hard facts' on Brexit in speech

British Prime Minister Theresa May has set TV broadcasting as one of her priorities in Brexit negotiations, underlining the importance of ensuring that companies such as Discovery and Turner can continue licensing European channels out of the United Kingdom even after it withdraws from the European Union.

In a speech Friday aimed at answering critics who accuse Britain of failing to grasp the tough realities of leaving the EU, May will call for "the broadest and deepest possible agreement - covering more sectors and cooperating more fully than any free trade agreement anywhere in the world today".

It remains to be seen if the speech can win over Hard Brexiteers - who have argued that deregulation should be a key component of the UK's economic strategy post-Brexit - as well as European Union negotiators who are likely to seek extremely strong assurances from the government that European Union standards will indeed be honoured once the United Kingdom leaves the EU. They accuse Britain of wanting to cherry-pick benefits of European Union membership without any of the responsibilities.

A future deal on access to each other's markets - whatever it may look like - had to be fair, she said, with the need for some "binding commitments".

Talks on the terms of the withdrawal and a transition period are already underway, and Britain hopes a trade deal can be agreed by the end of the year.

She promised to commit to some regulations and minimum standards on goods in a bid to maintain close trade ties, while reserving the option for Britain to diverge in the future.

"There are two areas which have never been covered in a Free Trade Agreement in any meaningful way before - broadcasting and, despite the EU's own best efforts in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, financial services".

Britain wants to remain part of EU agencies such as the European Medicines Agency, which will be relocated from London to Amsterdam owing to Brexit. "If this is cherry-picking, then every trade arrangement is cherry-picking".

Ms Sturgeon said: "She accepted that access to the single market - the world's biggest marketplace and one around eight times bigger than the UK's alone - would be reduced, yet said she would leave the single market and customs union anyway, even though her own government's analysis shows this will cost jobs and cut living standards". Miles Celic of financial services lobby group TheCityUK described it as "ambitious and pragmatic".

"The Prime Minister's commitment to work for a solution on the border is a belated recognition of reality, however that commitment is severely undermined in the same speech when she advocated the very same customs proposals which were widely and comprehensively dismissed past year".

The speech to journalists and diplomats at London's grand Mansion House was the most detailed account yet from the British government of what it is willing to give and what it wants to take in the ongoing divorce negotiations.

Our departure from the European Union causes very particular challenges for Northern Ireland and for Ireland.

Britain and the bloc have promised there will be no customs posts or other impediments along the 310-mile (500 kilometer) border.

The UK doesn't want, May said, to implement a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"We both need to face the fact that this is a negotiation and neither of us can have exactly what we want", she told the London audience. We understand your principles. "As in any negotiation no-one will get everything they want, we will not be buffeted by the demands to talk tough or threaten a walkout, just as we will not accept the counsels of despair that this simply can not be done".