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A Room with a View after Brexit?

Florence – one of the most beautiful, romantic and inspiring cities in the world. And our Prime Minister Theresa May was thrust into the midst of it on Friday - as incongruous a spirit as Maggie Smith's uptight character Charlotte in the film 'A Room with a View'.

She was there for 'The Speech' – the speech which EU members have been calling for, for Britain to clarify its plans for Brexit after all negotiations hit a brick wall.

But will Britain get its own room with a view moving forward after Brexit or will it be left feeling the same sense of despair Helena Bonham-Carter’s character Lucy feels on flinging open her casement window, to find not a beautiful panoramic view of Florence but instead a dirty back alley?

Mrs May's speech revealed a time plan for Brexit. She confirmed there will be a two-year period following March 2019 when we will essentially remain members of the EU to allow an easier transition for all countries.

May promised during this two year period Britain will continue to pay the EU for 'commitments' previously made to ensure no member countries had to stump up the shortfall. This figure is estimated to be around £18billion.

During this two years, trade will continue on current terms and EU migrants will still be able to live and work in the UK but following that, all migrants will have to formally register with the authorities.

After those two years, May said Britain would work towards a new 'deep and special' partnership with Europe, including long-term economic projects and the UK would want to contribute to costs.

Leavers and remainers alike will surely feel despondent. For leavers there appears to be no fantastic new start for Britain on the horizon, built upon British sovereignty. With May's assurances we will continue to have a strong relationship with Europe, comes the dawning realisation we are going to remain as interwoven with Europe as before in all but the title and the sense of security.

Whilst remainers will feel they have had to live through a crushing sense of disappointment, followed by a period of fear for the future, for what seems like nothing. Less than nothing in fact, as Britain will simply be an untethered, less stable version of the Britain remainers loved before.

Which ever side of the divide we stand on Brexit we all want out beautiful Florentine view and it seems we have all been left staring down at a dirty back alley.

*Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for failing to put a Brexit vote on the agenda of the Labour Conference which begins today (Monday). Opponents say this is a big mistake for a party leader who claims to be in touch with the electorate.


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