Seven things we learned from Theresa May's Brexit speech

After all the ambiguities of Theresa May's declaration that "Brexit means Brexit", the Prime Minister has delivered her clearest statement yet on her vision for the country's exit from the European Union.

Here's what we learned:

  • May's vision will see the UK leave the single market

"I want to be clear, what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market," Mrs May said, finally confirming the widespread interpretations of her previous coded statements on the issue.

Retaining membership of the tariff-free EU trading bloc that demands free movement of people and legal instructions from Europe would to "all intent and purposes mean not leaving the EU", she explained.

What will replace it?

"We do not seek membership of the single market, we seek access to the single market ... in a reciprocal arrangement," she said.

  • Parliament will vote on the final Brexit deal

The final deal reached between the UK and European Union will be put to a vote of both Houses of Parliament.

Mrs May's speech did not make clear whether a vote against the agreement would result in the UK remaining in the EU.

The House of Commons and House of Lords will vote on the final Brexit deal. Credit: PA

However, when asked by ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston what would happen if Parliament rejected the deal, Mrs May said: "I am sure the British Parliament will want to deliver the views of the British people and respect the democratic decision that was taken."

  • May will renegotiate Britain's customs agreement

The prime minister was less deterministic on Britain's customs arrangements after Brexit than her single market statements, but confirmed they will be renegotiated.

Theresa May said she wanted to remain part of a customs agreement with the remaining 27 EU states. Credit: PA

"I do want us to have a customs agreement with the EU," she said, but added she had "an open mind" on what new form it will take.

Mrs May reiterated her stance that with Brexit the end outweighs the means but confirmed she would fight to retain tariff-free trade with Europe.

  • Britain will seek full control of immigration

"Brexit must mean control of the number of people coming to Britain from Europe, and that is what we will deliver," Mrs May said.

The former home secretary said she was aware of the difficulty controlling levels of immigration under Britain's existing trade arrangements.

Lunar House in south London - the HQ of UK Visas and Immigration - will get greater control on the number of people coming to Britain. Credit: PA

She said Britain was an "open tolerant country" but said when the numbers of migrants arriving in the UK get too high public support declines.

The PM also said securing the rights of British nationals living in EU states was an "important priority" over which she was attempting to seek early guarantees. "It's the right and fair thing to do," she said.

  • Britain will slash payments to the EU

"The days of Britain making vast contributions to the European Union every year will end," Mrs May said as she outlined the impact of leaving the single market.

Theresa May said Britain's funding of European Union projects will continue but be slashed. Credit: PA

Mrs May said Britain may contribute to "specific European programmes" though.

"If so, and this will be for us to decide, it is reasonable that we should make an appropriate contribution," she said.

  • May warns EU over 'punitive deal'

Mrs May sent out a clear warning at the end of the speech to any EU leaders looking to punish Britain in the Brexit negotiations.

"No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain," she said.

The PM said she was aware of "some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path".

She said: "That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend."

She said Britain "would (not)" and "could not" accept that approach but said she was "confident that this scenario need never arise".

  • Britain will 'phase in' new arrangements

The new arrangements from a negotiated Brexit deal will be "phased in" to prevent Britain - and businesses especially - from confronting a "disruptive cliff edge".

Theresa May sent a warning to European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Credit: PA

"It's in no one's interests for there to be a cliff edge," she said, but clarified she wanted to guard against an "unlimited transitional status" to bringing in the effects of the deal.

She characterised the stage as "interim arrangements".