... but US says they will have wait
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she intends to seize new trading opportunities for a Britain that has voted to leave the European Union, reiterating that “Brexit does indeed mean Brexit” and there will be “no attempt to get out of this”.
After May’s first meeting with US President Barack Obama since she became British leader in July, the two leaders sought to downplay the impact of a British exit on the much touted “special relationship” between the US and UK.
But Obama did not back away from his assertion, first made as he campaigned against the exit, that Great Britain would have to wait its turn before the United States prioritised a new, separate trade deal with a newly inde- pendent Great Britain. Obama noted the US remains focused on finishing trade deals with Asia-Pacific and with the European Union. The president said he believed that Britain’s priority meanwhile was “figuring out what Brexit means with respect to Europe”. Still, Obama promised to work closely with May to avoid “adverse effects” in the trade relationship. The British people narrowly voted to leave the EU in June, but the government has yet to formally invoke Article 50, the EU treaty clause that would set up its departure. Invoking the clause would start a two-year countdown. However, there is opposition to a British exit among a significant part of the population and questions over whether Parliament will be given a formal vote on triggering Article 50. “There will be no second referendum, no attempt to turn the clock back, no attempt to try to get out of this,” May told reporters on the sidelines of the G-20 economic summit. “The UK will be leaving European Union.” At a separate news conference minutes later, European Council President Donald Tusk reiterated the EU’s stance that they will not start negotiating with Britain on its future relationship with a 27-member bloc until the British government formally invokes Article 50. He said his words may sound “brutal”, but: “We need to protect the interests of the members of the EU that want to stay together, not the one which wants to leave.” the
NO GOING BACK: Teresa May discusses Brexit