Theresa May Says U.K. Will Be Strong Partner in the EU

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GEOMETR.IT 21.10.2016

BRUSSELS—British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday the U.K. will continue to be a strong partner in the European Union, as she sought to smooth relations at her first summit with her EU counterparts since becoming the prime minister.

As the U.K. establishes its negotiating position ahead of formal talks, which will start by the end of March, Mrs. May is seeking to establish goodwill from her European counterparts, some of whom face anti-EU movements at home and are under pressure not to make leaving the bloc look like an attractive option. Mrs. May has said she wants to restrict immigration from the EU while maximizing access to Europe’s trading market.

“The U.K. is leaving the EU, but we will continue to play a full role until we leave; and we’ll be a strong and dependable partner after we have left,” said Mrs. May, who became prime minister in July, weeks after the U.K. voted to leave the EU. The summit, which began Thursday and continues through Friday, will mainly focus on trade and the war in Syria, with Brexit expected to take a back seat.

 Over dinner with other EU leaders, Mrs. May spoke about the work the U.K. is doing to prepare for negotiations. She also emphasized her view that a good deal for the U.K. is also in the interest of the EU and said there will be no turning back on Britain’s decision to leave the EU, a Downing Street official said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Mrs. May “gave an important message” by saying that the U.K. remains a full EU member with rights and obligations until the Brexit negotiations end.

“She said negotiations should be in the interest of the U.K. but also not hurt the EU,” Ms. Merkel said. “This will be a difficult path, but what she said is a good basis to work on together.”

EU leaders have said they wouldn’t agree to a deal that allows the U.K. to cherry pick what it wants from the bloc. Specifically, they have said the U.K. must agree to its rule that allows EU citizens to live and work in any member state if it wants access to the trading market.

Earlier Thursday, David Davis, the minister who is overseeing Britain’s exit from the EU, made clear the administration sees the bloc and the U.K.’s fates as intertwined. “If they do not achieve an open and barrier-free trading relationship, that will be harmful for many European countries and harmful for European financial stability,” he said. “Nobody wants that.”


    I know that this is going to earn me some abuse, but hey ho… the other day I was at Riga Airport in Latvia catching a flight home to London and something really struck me. Almost all the Latvians seemed to be slim, good looking, well dressed, well behaved, discreet and business like and I felt quite comfortable in their company. Meanwhile my fellow Brits stood out among them; they were almost all out of shape and flabby, wearing cheap looking and poorly fitting “sport casuals,” and were jabbering away semi-coherently about all kinds of shallow, irrelevant and inconsequential rubbish to fill the void of silence. To be honest I steered well clear of them and kept quiet because I didn’t want to be identified with them. So, I’m just wondering, how many others out there sometimes feel, when it comes to travelling or other forms of international interaction, dare I say it… ashamed to be British? I know that there is another kind of British which hopefully I belong to, but I’m just wondering how the proportions stack up. For the sale of this discussion let’s just call it neanderthal and sophisticated; what do people think are the respective percentages that make up our population? Just asking :)

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