UK Prime Minister Theresa May says she will lay out a more detailed Brexit plan over “the coming weeks,” rejecting criticism that her government is unprepared to leave the European Union (EU).
In an interview with Sky News on Sunday, May said her government’s arrangements were not “muddled” at all and it was the “complexity of the issues” that prolonged the process.
She said leaving the 28-member block is not going to be possible by keeping parts of the membership and the government was trying to tighten the borders first in order to meet the biggest demand that was put forward after the June 23 EU referendum.
“Often people talk in terms as if somehow we are leaving the EU, but we still want to kind of keep bits of membership of the EU,” she said.
“We are leaving. We are coming out. We are not going to be a member of the EU any longer,” the premier added.
“So the question is what is the right relationship for the UK to have with the European Union when we are outside. We will be able to have control of our borders, control of our laws,” May continued. “This is what people were voting for on 23 June.”
However, she said London was still trying to reduce the concerns over Britain’s access to the EU Single Market, which has been one of the most debated aspects of the divorce.
May has promised to begin the Brexit process in March and complete it by 2019. However, those plans were delayed when the UK High Court required a parliamentary vote for triggering Article 50.
May’s remarks prompted criticism from the Labor Party, with shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer saying that she avoided giving clear answers.
“She had one question put to her three times and still didn’t answer it, which is, ‘Are you prioritizing immigration over access to the single market?” he said.
“That was the question she didn’t want to answer. And I think now, 10 to 11 weeks from the triggering of Article 50, and the most important negotiations for a generation, we need more clarity than that, and we haven’t got it.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron warned that May’s interview “confirmed she is taking us towards a disastrous hard Brexit that will leave our country poorer and more divided.”