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Breaking news – first reactions on PM’s Florence speech

We’ve campaigned hard for our EU citizens’ rights to be guaranteed, and May’s speech gave some much needed assurance.

May outlined EU citizens’ rights will be enshrined in UK law, with the UK taking account of European Court of Justice rulings. Again, a welcome step.

There was a greater sense of urgency, with May looking for both sides to reach agreement swiftly, in order to give citizens the certainty they deserve.

What’s still to come is the detail that both business and the many EU citizens are still waiting for, and it’s crucial this is ironed out quickly. But we’ve taken a real step forwards today- progress towards London First’s call.

The two year transition period, where existing EU rules will continue, include freedom of movement and single market access. This again is welcome but for this to be effective it needs to be in place by June 2018- as stressed by businesses in our recent survey with Lloyds Banking Group, covered by the FT and elsewhere.

We’ll continue to press on with our calls for greater detail on transitional arrangements and firm guarantees for EU citizens, while analysing the full implications of May’s speech and taking soundings from our members.

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