Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:50 pm, 29th March 2017

My right hon. Friend started her question by saying that immigration was the No. 1 priority. What we have done is to say that we want a comprehensive package that, yes, does enable us to control immigration and set our own rules on immigration, but also has exactly the sort of free access to the single market that I think she is talking about and that businesses want to see. I believe that we can achieve that agreement. I believe we should be optimistic and ambitious in achieving that agreement.

There are other freedoms that the European leaders will cite in relation to full membership of the single market, such as the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and I think that people here voted to stop the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice last year. But what matters to me is the outcome—not the structure by which we achieve that outcome, but whether we have that free, frictionless, tariff-free access to the single market. That is what we want to achieve and what we will be working for.