Brexit outline

British PM Theresa May reveals an outline of her plans for Brexit

An atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion spread throughout the UK, Europe and the world as a whole following the referendum which decided Britain‘s separation from the EU, as many questions were left without an answer for longer than half a year. However, in a speech given last Tuesday at Lancaster House, London, Prime Minister Theresa May finally offered a slightly clearer image of the UK’s intentions regarding the future of Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

May declared that she was optimistic about reaching a positive agreement with the EU, but also stated that she was “equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”. Many representatives of the EU, as well as newspapers around the world have interpreted this as a sign of a possible ‘hard Brexit’, meaning a complete isolation from the European block.

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Nevertheless, May is confident that, at the end of the negotiations, the UK would become an associate member of the customs union and sign a “new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement” with the EU. On the other hand, she was very firm about leaving the single market of the EU, regaining control of Britain’s borders, quitting the European Court of Justice and contributing financially only towards specific programmes of the European block. Should the aforementioned free trade agreement be signed, Germany, the largest exporter of goods to the UK,  is unlikely to be severely affected by Brexit from this point of view. However, with Britain wishing to leave the stock market, the prospects for the finance sector do not seem as optimistic.

Finally, one of the most important reactions to May’s speech came from Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who warned that the ‘hard Brexit’ would be “economically catastrophic” and that it would make a new referendum for Scotland’s independenceall but inevitable”. Another crucial matter will be finding a solution for the border which would separate Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which continues to be a member state of the EU.

Considerably more information regarding the nature of Brexit is expected to appear after the British Parliament votes in favour of triggering the infamous Article 50, following which the negotiations with the EU will begin.


English – German glossary:

to reveal = (hier) bekanntgeben

outline = Überblick

uncertainty = Ungewissheit

confusion = Verwirrung

to spread = sich ausbreiten

throughout (e.g. Europe) = (Europa)weit

however, nevertheless = jedoch

slighlty = etwas, ein bisschen

intention = Absicht

regarding = bezüglich

to declare, to state = bekanntgeben

to reach a positive agreement = eine positive Vereinbarung treffen

as well as = sowie

to interpret = deuten

associate member = außerordentliches Mitglied

customs union = Zollunion

comprehensive = umfangreich

bold = kühn

free trade = Freihandel

firm = entschlossen

single market = Binnenmarkt

to regain control of sth = die Kontrolle über etw wieder nehmen

border = Grenze

should = (hier) sollte, falls

exporter = Ausführer

from this point of view = unter diesem Gesichtspunkt

on the other hand = andererseits

prospects = Aussichten

independence = Unabhängigkeit

all but inevitable = fast unvermeidlich

considerably = erheblich

in favour of = für

to trigger = auslösen

infamous = verrufen