May Says Ending Free Movement After Brexit Is ‘Non-Negotiable’

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Theresa May said ending free movement of European Union nationals to the U.K. after Brexit is “non negotiable,” as she sought to reassure Britons that government preparations for a no-deal scenario are “sensible” and “responsible.”

Britain will not compromise on setting rules for migration of EU nationals to the U.K., stopping “vast” payments to the EU budget, and ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain, May said in a Channel 5 television interview on Wednesday.

The prime minister’s restatement of long-held red lines comes as her ministers prepare to broker the outline of an agreement on the future relationship between Britain and the bloc.

The U.K. aims to conclude a withdrawal agreement and draw up the basis of a trade deal by October. Ministers are also preparing for a scenario in which Britain tumbles out of the bloc without a deal in March next year, and they plan to spend the summer publicizing their efforts.

May said the preparations are “about making sure that we’ll be able to continue to do things that are necessary once we’ve left the EU, if we leave without a deal.”

“People should take reassurance from the fact that this is a government that’s saying ‘you know what? we’re going to be responsible about this; we’re going to be sensible about this but while we’re doing that we’re going to work for a really good deal,” she said.

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