Britain Hoping to Make a Clean Break with EU by 2019

January 18, 2017 12:01 PM

More than six months after Britain voted to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May finally spelled out what it means: the U.K. will make a clean break from the EU, but not until 2019.

On Tuesday, May said Britain must regain control of its laws and borders, even as she called on the 27-nation EU to negotiate a free trade agreement with London that will benefit both sides.

“Because we will no longer be members of the single market, we will not be required to contribute huge sums to the EU budget,” said May. “There may be some specific European programs which we might want to participate. The days of Britain making vast contributions to the European Union every year will end.”

Britain’s market reacted positively after Prime Minister May’s speech. The British pound climbed higher, erasing a week’s worth of losses. On Monday, the pound was at a 31-year low against the U.S. dollar.

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