Brexit terms not ‘binary choice’ between immigration control and good trade deal – British PM

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May says she will outline more details of her Brexit strategy in the coming weeks, but denies that she faces a “binary choice” between controlling immigration and getting “a good trade deal” for the UK.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JANUARY 8, 2017) (UK POOL) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday (January 8) she would set out her strategy for Brexit over the coming weeks, denying that she faced a “binary choice” between controlling immigration and securing a “good trade deal” for the UK.

In her first interview of the year, May ignored growing calls from business leaders, lawmakers and opposition leaders for more detail on her strategy to leave the European Union, offering little beyond a pledge to get the best possible deal.

She repeated that what is a crucial issue on both sides of the EU debate – whether curbing immigration into Britain will be prioritised over preferential access to the bloc’s single market – was not a “binary choice” and said that the country would not be keeping “bits” of EU membership.

“First of all I will be setting out some more details in the coming weeks as we look ahead to triggering Article 50,” she said, referring to the start of the formal divorce procedure that she will invoke before the end of March.

“But what I am saying is that I think it is wrong to look at this as just a binary issue, as to either you have control of immigration or you have a good trade deal – I don’t see it as a binary issue.”

May said she was aiming for “an ambitious deal”, shrugging off a suggestion by Britain’s former ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers, that her government was “muddled” in its approach to some of the most complicated negotiations the country has held since World War Two.

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