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With a year to go for Brexit, PM May insists future is bright

On March 29, 2017, the May government set in motion the two-year exit process under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by sending a letter to Brussels about the UK’s decision to leave the EU after the 2016 referendum resulted in a 52% leave vote. 

world Updated: Mar 29, 2018 20:35 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Brexit,Brexit divroce,Theresa May
Anti-Brexit demonstrators holding EU flags protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 29.(AFP Photo)

Major issues remain unresolved and demands are growing for another referendum, but as Thursday marks one year to go for the United Kingdom to formally leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the future is bright.

It was on March 29, 2017 that the May government set in motion the two-year exitprocess under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by sending a letter to Brussels about the UK’s decision to leave the EU after the 2016 referendum resulted in a 52%-48% leave vote.

May travelled around the UK on Thursday, speaking to people and emphasising that regardless of whether they voted to leave or remain in the EU, it is now important to make Brexit a success for everyone.

Beginning her day in Scotland, May visited textile workers at a factory in Ayrshire, before travelling to Newcastle to meet a local parent and toddler group. She had lunch with farmers near Belfast before travelling to Barry to host a roundtable with Welsh businesses, and endedthe day in west Londonwith tea with a group of Polish citizens.

The complex process of leaving the EU 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 EU continues efforts to block Brexit in Parliament, courts and elsewhere.

May said: “I am determined that our future will be a bright one. It’s a future in which we trade freely with friends and partners across Europe and beyond. Having regained control of our laws, our borders and our money, and seized the opportunities provided by Brexit, the UK will thrive as a strong and united country that works for everyone, no matter whether you voted leave or remain.”

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, while Wales and England voted to leave. May is keen to unite forces across the UK, but constitutional and political issues remain unresolved.

“Today, one year until the UK leaves the EU and begins to chart a new course in the world, I am visiting all four nations of the union to hear from people across our country what Brexit means to them. 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,” she said.

“The UK contains four proud and historic nations, but together we amount to so much more than the sum of our parts and our union is an enormous force for good…(As) as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I have an absolute responsibility to protect the integrity of the United Kingdom as a whole.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 20:34 IST