By Muhammad Mussa
Striking a firm stance, British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday that the U.K. is “getting on with the job of Brexit” in the ongoing divorce negotiations with the bloc.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Express, May vowed that she would “not be derailed” from securing an “ambitious deal” with the EU.
She added that the last 10 days had “marked a watershed” and that the government would now “begin discussions on the new, deep and special partnership” with the EU.
In the coming days, she said, Cabinet members will convene and discuss the UK’s “end state” as well as the relationship they want with the bloc. Some members favor of a closer alignment with the EU, she pointed out.
Separately, speaking to the Times of London, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson argued that the U.K. cannot mirror EU laws or else "we would have gone from being a member state to a vassal state." His remarks came in light of an announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond that the U.K. would retain EU laws.
Last week, EU leaders agreed that talks could move onto phase two after progress had been made in regard to the divorce bill, citizens’ rights, and the Irish border.
The announcement came shortly after May suffered her first defeat in Parliament, when MPs voted to give Parliament the final say on a deal struck between London and Brussels. Eleven Conservative MPs voted against the Brexit bill, delivering May an embarrassing defeat.
The second phase of negotiations, starting next March, will focus on trade between the U.K. and EU.