Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s lead Brexit negotiator, is happy with Theresa May’s Florence speech – at least that makes one of us…
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) September 22, 2017
He said the speech, which committed Britain to a transitional Brexit period of “around 2 years”, demonstrated a “constructive spirit which is also the spirit of the European Union during this unique negotiation”.
He added: “The speech shows a willingness to move forward, as time is of the essence. We need to reach an agreement by autumn 2018 on the conditions of the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union. The UK will become a third country on 30 March 2019.”
May’s Florence speech assured the EU that Britain would continue its relationship with the bloc for years to come, including being subject to the free movement of people.
She also expressed a desire to work with Brussels on security and she said British courts should continue to use the European Court of Justice’s legal precedents when enforcing the law in the UK.
It’s not a good sign for Brexiteers that Barnier is happy. May’s speech represents a complete Brexit backslide and a complete disregard for the will of the people.