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Hogan Lovells partner Charles Brasted comments on Theresa May’s Brexit speech

17 January 2017

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Vanessa Montero

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Pam Christie

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May today gave her long-anticipated Brexit speech, setting out her negotiating priorities for the UK withdrawal from the European Union. Commenting on Theresa May’s speech, Hogan Lovells partner Charles Brasted said:

“For those who have been listening carefully to Theresa May and the Government in recent months, today was the day when the PM had to face up to the implications of what has already been said.  What the PM has done is to reaffirm the primacy of key commitments to taking back control of laws, courts and borders — and to admit that that necessarily rules out membership of the EU's clubs."

“Mrs May's aspiration is a bespoke deal that emphasises access, not membership, that seeks to be part of a customs union – but not on the terms of the existing customs union, which preclude the UK striking its own trade deals — and that is based on on-going regulatory consistency and reciprocity. The impression from the EU is likely to be that this is precisely the cherry picking that they have warned against. However, the EU has shown itself able to agree sector-specific arrangements based on these principles and the UK's answer must be to show that it is seeking an agreement that preserves the best of the relationship for the benefit of both sides.”   

“Mrs May has also been keen to reassure businesses and others by highlighting the intention for continuity of laws and rules immediately post-Brexit and for an "implementation phase" that would deliver the full future relationship over time through a smooth and ordered process of realignment.”

“Every one of the aspirations expressed by the UK Government today will demand exceptional political skill to negotiate and will be complex to implement legally and commercially. The objectives are now clear – the path towards them is uncharted.”

Charles Brasted plays a leading role in the firm's Constitutional Change Taskforce (CCT) which brings together senior thought leaders from across Hogan Lovells to analyse, anticipate, and help clients to navigate Brexit. Please click here for further information.

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