PM May says aims to reach deal on future UK-EU relationship within two years

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain aims to reach an agreement on its future relationship with the European Union within the two years set out under Article 50 of the bloc’s Lisbon Treaty, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday.

“It is our aim to deliver a smooth and orderly Brexit, reaching an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two-year Article 50 process has concluded,” May told parliament.

She said she hoped there would then be a “phased process of implementation” in which both sides prepare for the new arrangements.

May also acknowledged there would be consequences for Britain in leaving the bloc and said she wanted to forge the closest possible security relationship with the EU.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison