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LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May has set out the principles that will guide her approach to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and defined 12 negotiating objectives.
May is expected to start an initial two-year negotiating period with the EU by the end of March, which will determine the terms of Britain's exit.
- Certainty and clarity
- A stronger Britain
- A fairer Britain
- A truly global Britain
"We have 12 objectives that amount to one big goal: a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union," May said in a speech setting out the following objectives.
- Providing certainty for business and the public sector whenever possible as negotiations take place.
- Taking back control of British law, ending jurisdiction of EU Court of Justice.
- Strengthening the union between the four nations of the United Kingdom.
- Maintaining the common travel area between Ireland and the UK.
- Controlling immigration to Britain from Europe.
- Guaranteeing rights of EU citizens already living in Britain and rights of British nationals living in the EU as early as possible.
- Ensure workers' rights are fully protected and maintained.
- Pursuing a new, bold, comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement with the EU with greatest possible access to the single market, without membership of it. Pursuing customs deal with the EU to ensure cross-border trade with Europe is as "frictionless as possible".
- Pursuing new trade agreements with the rest of the world.
- Remaining a top destination for science, research and innovation.
- Reaching practical arrangements with the EU for cooperation on law enforcement, terrorism, foreign affairs, foreign and defense policy.
- Phased implementation approach delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit, seeking to 'avoid a cliff edge' disruption.
Reporting by William James and Ritvik Carvalho; editing by Stephen Addison