October 2, 2016 / 2:46 PM / a year ago

PM says Britain will forge bespoke relationship with EU

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends the annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - There is no such thing as a choice between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexit as Britain will forge a unique future relationship with the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday.

May said Britain will trigger formal divorce talks with the EU by the end of March next year, following a June 23 vote to leave the bloc.

“The line of argument in which ‘soft Brexit’ amounts to some form of continued EU membership and ‘hard Brexit’ is a conscious decision to reject trade with Europe is simply a false dichotomy,” May told her Conservative Party’s annual conference.

“It is not, therefore, a negotiation to establish a relationship anything like the one we have had for the last forty years or more. So it is not going to a ‘Norway model’. It’s not going to be a ‘Switzerland model’.  It is going to be an agreement between an independent, sovereign United Kingdom and the European Union.” 

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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