May's Brexit: Europe responds

May's Brexit: Europe responds
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Theresa May's announcement that the UK will leave the single market in what is widely being seen as a "hard Brexit" is already having an impact.


Theresa May’s announcement that the UK will leave the single market in what is widely being seen as a “hard Brexit” has already had an impact on the financial markets.

EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator

Ready as soon as UK is. Only notification can kick off negotiations. #Brexit

— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) January 17, 2017

“Ready as soon as the UK is. Only notification can kick off negotiations,” – Michel Barnier, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

Finnish Finance Minister

Britain has laid out its plan for #brexit. Next, it is the job of #EU27 to find a common position. United we stand, divided we fall.

— Petteri Orpo (@PetteriOrpo) January 17, 2017

“Britain has laid out its plan for #brexit. Next, it is the job of #EU27 to find a common positiion. United we stand, divided we fall,” – Petteri Orpo said on Twitter.

UK Labour leader, opposition

“She has said ‘leave the single market’ but at the same time said she wants to have access to the market. I am not sure how that is going to go down in Europe..she seems to be wanting to have her cake and eat it,” – Jeremy Corbyn said on Sky News.

Scottish First Minister

First Minister of Scotland NicolaSturgeon</a>&#39;s response to the Prime Minister’s speech on <a href="">#Brexit</a>. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Ross Colquhoun (rosscolquhoun) January 17, 2017

Nicola Sturgeon says her country must have the option of independence if its wishes are dismissed.

“The prime minister has taken the UK down the road of a hard Brexit. It is not driven by the interest of the country, it is driven by the interest of the hard right of her own party. That is deeply regrettable.”

“Scotland cannot be taken down a path that we did not vote for and is against our interests. We have put forward proposals, we will continue to take decisions in an orderly manner but I am not prepared to allow Scotland’s interests to be steamrollered.”

German Foreign Minister

#3Novices : Germany: We welcome ‘some clarity’ on Brexit

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reacted…

— 3NovicesEurope (@3NovicesEU) January 17, 2017

“We welcome that the British prime minister is today outlining her government’s ideas for leaving and has finally created a little more clarity about the British plans,” said Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“Our line is, and remains:the negotiations can begin only when Great Britain has given official notification of its desire to leave.”

Irish government statement

Theresa May: Maintaining common travel area with Republic of Ireland will be a priority – always be a special relationship between us

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 17, 2017

“She made clear that her priorities include maintaining the common travel area and avoiding a return to a hard border with Northern Ireland, both of which are welcome.”

“The Government notes that the British approach is now firmly that of a country which will have left the eU but which seeks to negotiate a new, close relationship with it. While this will inevitably be seen by many as a “hard exit”, the analysis across Government has covered all possible models for the future UK relationship with the EU.”

“The Government is under no illusion about the nature and scale of the Brexit challenge. The Government is acutely aware of the potential risks and challenges for the Irish economy and will remain fully engaged on this aspect as the negotiations proceed.”

“The Government is also very aware of the potential economic opportunities that may arise for Ireland, including in terms of mobile investment. Economic opportunities for Ireland will be pursued vigorously.”


The UK’s vote to leave the bloc has opened up a huge number of questions about immigration, the future rights of many EU citizens already living in the UK, whether exporters will keep tariff-free access to the single market and British-based banks will be able to serve continental clients.


Theresa May's speech available in cinemas now.

— HaveIGotNewsForYou (@haveigotnews) January 17, 2017

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