Theresa May's Road to Brexit speech: Prime Minister reveals UK's demands for financial services to be in deal - and insists she's not cherry picking

Catherine Neilan
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Theresa May has said financial services must be included in a future trade deal with the EU in her most substantive speech on Brexit to date.

The Prime Minister listed a number of demands, saying they were not "cherry picking" - but admitted that some compromises will have to be made during the course of negotiations.

Speaking at Mansion House - with the weather preventing her from doing it in Newcastle as planned - May made the case for including financial services in a future trade deal.

"We have the opportunity to break ground with a broader agreement than ever before", she said, pointing to work carried out on financial services within TTIP as a possible model.

Read more: City welcomes Theresa May's "honest" Brexit speech

The Prime Minister called for "labour mobility" to be maintained, while market access should be based on regulatory outcomes with a dispute mechanism included. But it will need a "collaborative, objective framework that is reciprocal, mutually agreed and permanent", she added. 

In a speech that was far more detailed than expected, May reaffirmed her commitment to leaving the Single Market and customs union - and stressed the UK would be no form of union that would impinge on the UK's ability to strike deals with other countries. 

On goods, she said the UK would resist the introduction of tariffs or quotas and called for only one set of checks to make sure goods meet regulatory standards. The UK would commit to retaining standards on that basis.

May acknowledged that the UK would not be able to have it all - a concession from the government's original "cake and eat it" starting point.

"We both need to face the fact that this is a negotiation and neither of us can have exactly what we want.", she said.

The UK would have to agree some "binding commitments" to get the access it wanted, for example.

She suggested the UK should pay for associate membership of agencies such as European Medicines Agency, European Chemicals Agency and European Aviation Safety Agency, in order to have access to those sectors. 

But she rejected the EU's claim that the UK was cherry picking. 

"Every FTA has varying degrees of access," she said. "If this is cherry picking, then every trade arrangement is cherry picking”

May concluded: "My message to our friends in Europe is clear: We know what we want, we understand your principles. We have a shared interest in getting this right, so let's get on with it."

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