Last week’s announcement from Prime Minister Theresa May and her statement in the House of Commons earlier today bring the assurance of starting phase two of the Brexit negotiations on trade and security in the New Year. This is welcome news and demonstrates her perseverance and achievement for Britain as we seek to deliver a ‘Truly Global Britain’ ahead of exiting the European Union in March 2019.

Since Brexit negotiations started we made clear that there were three clear priorities which had to be achieved. A deal on the rights of UK nationals living abroad and EU Citizens living in the UK, ensuring that there would be no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic and a financial settlement which is fair to hard working families. All three of these priorities have now been achieved.

The next stage of our negotiations will be the development of a special partnership with the European Union which will allow us to trade freely, whilst ensuring that we leave the Single Market and the Customs Union as well as the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, honouring the outcome of the Referendum.

The Prime Minister’s steely determination has ensured that we will start 2018 with a renewed optimism to ensure that we will have a Brexit which works for Britain and which will work for all hard-working families across Britain. The outcome of phase one of the Brexit negotiations brings us closer to creating a ‘Truly Global Britain’ where we will begin to embrace the opportunities of the wider world with new friends and old allies alike.