Brexit countdown: One year to go as PM urges unity

Robert Weighton

Robert Weighton

The PM is to visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, appealing to those for and against Brexit. "As stated by the European Commission in its notice to stakeholders on European Food Law in relation to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the Commission's position is that United Kingdom exports to the EU27 will face veterinary inspection as any other third country does today".

The complex process of leaving the European Union has spawned its own jargon - cake philosophy, divorce bill, cliff edge, ambitious managed divergence, cherry-picking - while the influential group of those who voted to remain in the European Union continues efforts to block Brexit in Parliament, courts and elsewhere.

The prime minister secured last week the EU's agreement to start talks on a future relationship, but uncertainties remain over the first negotiations to be completed, over the divorce itself.

At this midpoint in the Brexit process, May - weakened by a failed snap election in June previous year and who has been undermined by hardline Brexiteers within her own cabinet - can however count on only an ambivalent public opinion.

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused the British government of being in "chaos" over Brexit, following a series of defeats in the House of Lords on its flagship EU Withdrawal Bill.

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And she restated her rejection of EU proposals which would effectively create an administrative border down the Irish Sea by keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union.

Part of Mrs May's task in the coming 12 months will be to convince voters in devolved areas that there will be no "power grab" by Westminster after Brexit.

Mr Blair told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was "more likely we can stop [Brexit] now than it was a few months ago".

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that "a glorious view awaits" Britain when it finally quits the EU.

"Brexit provides us with opportunities", May said while visiting a weaving firm in southwestern Scotland.

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"I am determined that as we leave the EU, and in the years ahead, we will strengthen the bonds that unite us, because ours is the world's most successful union".

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that leaving the European Union will mean more money will be available to spend on healthcare, delivering on a central promise made by campaigners to leave the bloc.

"We have a very a strong union, that is in our interests and it is in our interests to come together and really seize these opportunities for the future".

She will later visit a parent and toddler group in Newcastle, northeast England before heading over to Belfast for lunch with farmers.

She will then go on to Barry in south Wales for a round-table discussion with businesses, before completing her tour in west London with a group of Polish citizens who have made the United Kingdom their home.

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