Brexit should not be described as a “divorce” because it suggests the UK and European Union will be on bad terms after they split, Theresa May has said.
The Prime Minister told MPs they need to “stop looking at this as simply coming out of the European Union” and recognise instead the opportunity to forge a new relationship with the bloc.
She said she preferred not to use the word “divorce” to characterise proceedings with the EU because “very often when people get divorced they don’t have a very good relationship afterwards”.
The issue was raised during the Prime Minister’s statement on her recent trip to the European Council by Labour’s Angela Smith.
The MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said: “There’s been a lot of emphasis on the trade deal but the divorce deal is very important too and at the heart of any divorce deal is a fair financial settlement.
“What will the Prime Minister do if there is no fair financial settlement at the end of the Article 50 period?”
Mrs May replied: “You will be aware as we enter the negotiation there is a wide range of issues that we will be looking at and discussing with the European Union.
“But I didn’t raise this earlier, didn’t respond to this point earlier, but a number of people have used this term of divorce.
“Actually, I prefer not to use a term of divorce from the European Union because very often when people get divorced they don’t have a very good relationship afterwards.
“Honourable members need to stop looking at this as simply coming out of the European Union and see the opportunity for building a new relationship with the European Union and that’s what we will be doing.”
Picture: A road traffic sign in front of the Union Jack and the European Union flag hanging outside Europe House in Smith Square, London. (Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images).