PM May has written to EU President Tusk that ‘the referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination.’
She added: ‘I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. ‘In addition, in accordance with the same Article 50(2) as applied by Article 106a of the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, I hereby notify the European Council of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community.
References in this letter to the European Union should therefore be taken to include a reference to the European Atomic Energy Community.’ She added: ‘As I have announced already, the Government will bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament – the European Communities Act 1972 – that gives effect to EU law in our country.’
She added: ‘The United Kingdom wants to agree with the European Union a deep and special partnership that takes in both economic and security cooperation … If, however, we leave the European Union without an agreement the default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms.’
She added: ‘We should engage with one another constructively and respectfully, in a spirit of sincere cooperation …’ May added that ‘the United Kingdom does not seek membership of the single market … We will need to discuss how we determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of the United Kingdom’s continuing partnership with the EU. But we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU …
‘In particular, we must pay attention to the UK’s unique relationship with the Republic of Ireland and the importance of the peace process in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is the only EU member state with a land border with the United Kingdom. We want to avoid a return to a hard border between our two countries, to be able to maintain the Common Travel Area between us, and to make sure that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU does not harm the Republic of Ireland.
‘We also have an important responsibility to make sure that nothing is done to jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland, and to continue to uphold the Belfast Agreement … But we also propose a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This should be of greater scope and ambition than any such agreement before it so that it covers sectors crucial to our linked economies such as financial services and network industries …
‘We recognise that it will be a challenge to reach such a comprehensive agreement within the two-year period set out for withdrawal discussions in the Treaty. But we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU.’