Theresa May to European Union: 'Be nice or it's commercial war'

Theresa May will deliver a Brexit speech on Tuesday Credit: PA

So now the finishing touches have been put to Theresa May's speech on her preferred architecture for the UK's Brexit relationship and that with the rest of the world, I have learned that she will signal:

  • We will be out of the customs union, the group of countries that dispense with border inspections of imports and exports
  • May will "grudgingly" allow for a short period of "implementation" of any new trade deal (Downing Street's euphemism for the "transition" to full Brexit, desperately desired by many UK businesses, seen as toxic by Brexiteer ultras)
  • The Prime Minister will make clear that the UK will default to slashing taxes and regulation if we don't agree an acceptable trade deal with the EU - in other words she will say "be nice or it's commercial war"

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