In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip visit the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, in Beijing, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May met Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a visit aimed at mapping out new trading arrangements following Britain's departure from the European Union. (Jin Liangkuai/Xinhua via AP)

May denies UK must choose between EU access, trade freedom

February 02, 2018 - 5:43 am

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May insists Britain does not have to choose between frictionless trade with the European Union and the ability to forge new trade deals around the world.

Speaking in Shanghai, May said "I don't believe that those are the alternatives."

May's Conservative government is split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to stick close to the bloc's tariff-free single market and customs union.

As the two sides negotiate their future relationship, EU officials have complained that Britain is unclear about what it wants.

May told the BBC Friday that Britain is seeking trade with the EU "on as frictionless and tariff-free a basis as possible ... but we also want to be signing trade deals in the rest of the world."

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