Project Brexit

United Kingdom

Head of State

Prime Minister

Queen Elizabeth II

Theresa May (Conservative Party)

Population 65,110,000
Size 242,495 km (93,628 sq. miles)
MEPs 73 (Joined the EU in 1972)
Next legislative election 2022, though possibly sooner if no government is formed
Presidency of the Council No Presidency
What Mrs May has said on Brexit 2 October 2016

“Brexit means Brexit – and we’re going to make a success of it.”

“We are going to be a fully independent, sovereign country – a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts.”

“So it is not going to be a ‘Norway model’. It’s not going to be a ‘Switzerland model’. It is going to be an agreement between an independent, sovereign United Kingdom and the European Union.”

17 January 2017

“I want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before.”

“I want Britain to be what we have the potential, talent and ambition to be. A great, global trading nation that is respected around the world and strong, confident and united at home.”

“June the 23rd was not the moment Britain chose to step back from the world. It was the moment we chose to build a truly Global Britain.”

Brexit priorities In the Brexit negotiations, the former UK Government’s priorities were:

1. To provide legal certainty by introducing the Great Repeal Bill, converting EU law into UK law.
2. To take back control of law making in the UK and to make sure the UK is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
3. To strengthen the Union and avoid Scotland leaving.
4. To maintain strong ties with Ireland and protect the Common Travel Area.
5. To control immigration from the EU.
6. To secure the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa.
7. To protect workers’ rights.
8. To forge a new partnership with the EU with a comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement, meaning the UK will leave the Single Market and Customs Union.
9. To negotiate new free trade agreements with third parties.
10. To continue collaboration with the EU in the field of science and innovation.
11. To continue cooperation with the EU in terms of fighting crime and terrorism.
12. To ensure a smooth exit from the EU.

However, the Conservatives lost their majority following a snap election on 8 June, which produced a hung Parliament. Having failed at securing a “hard Brexit” mandate as outlined above, Theresa May – if she stays on as Prime Minister – will most likely not get support for the Brexit agenda she campaigned on. This means that the UK’s Brexit negotiation position will likely change depending on what type of government the UK will get.

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