UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce that Britain will leave the European single market in a speech later today.
May is reported to be preparing to acknowledge that negotiations with European Union leaders have not found a solution which allows the UK access to the single without strings.
The main string is freedom of movement being part of the European single market requires that the UK open its borders to EU migration.
Millions of citizens from across Europe have made the UK their home since the country became part of the single market, and the legal position of non-UK nationals who are currently here will now be uncertain until the government clarifies what this means.
Government leaders have previously assured EU citizens living in the UK that there is no need to worry and that the situation will be resolved soon.
However, given that migration was the key issue that made people in the UK vote to leave the EU, it is an issue that will need resolving as a priority.
The Guardian newspaper says the prime minister will set out 12 key priorities for the ongoing negotiations with the EU, but that whatever the outcome no drastic changes are going to take place, and both goods and people will continue to flow across the borders relatively freely for the time being.Theresa May to confirm British exit from European single market Click To Tweet
However, according to the Guardian, May accepts that the UK cannot have it both ways – or “half-in, half-out”, as May put it.
In her speech to an audience of ambassadors from across the world later today, PM May is expected to say: “We seek a new and equal partnership – between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU. Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out,” May is expected to say.
“We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave. The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. My job is to get the right deal for Britain as we do.”