As a hardcore Brexiteer, I am pleased that the Prime Minister has delivered a positive, confident, ambitious, and dynamic vision for an optimistic future. She had a difficult task, but stuck a cordial and conciliatory tone that was a perfect blend of pro-Europeanism, a commitment to fully delivering Brexit and practical compromise to satisfy both the United Kingdom and the European Union. The British are known for a sense of fairness, playing by the rules and fulfilling obligations. This approach will serve us well in the next stages of the negotiations and our reputation around the world.
She has rightly stuck to not providing a “running commentary” on the Brexit talks. She has rightly kept and restated the Government’s positions laid out in her Lancaster House speech and still believes that “No deal is better than a bad deal”. She has also rightly disposed of the Norway option, which would have forced us to adopt new EU rules, but with no democratic control over them. We can now forge our own bespoke British relationship with the EU. There is no reason why the Government cannot deliver the will of the people and take back control of our money, laws, border and trade, whilst also maintaining a deep and special partnership with the EU. This is what I, as an amateur baker, like to call a “Crème Brûlée Brexit” that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside.
Whilst I don't particularly like the idea of a transition period or contributing to the EU budget beyond 2019, our exit must be as smooth as possible for people and businesses. As someone who has studied the EU, I also recognise that their budget is set across seven-year cycles and the current cycle concludes at the end of 2020. This means that they made their plans back in 2013 for this period with the assumption that the UK would be contributing its share as an EU member state throughout. By agreeing to honour financial commitments, Theresa May is not promising to honour a so-called “Brexit bill”, but existing obligations and is demonstrating a British gesture of goodwill.
I hope that the Prime Minister’s mature and constructive speech will help to move talks forward in a more productive way and deliver a Crème Brûlée Brexit. As she said: "This is the future within our grasp – so, together, let us seize it."
Joe Porter is Political Editor for ThinkNorth. He is a Parish Councillor in Staffordshire Moorlands and Co-Leader of Undivided, a national campaign seeking to get the best possible Brexit deal for young people across the UK. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People. He was the Vote Leave Constituency Campaign Coordinator for Staffordshire Moorlands. Joe studies Marketing and Politics at Keele University.