The Spectator

Theresa May’s full Article 50 speech: ‘A day of celebration for some and disappointment for others’

Mr Speaker, Today the Government acts on the democratic will of the British People. And it acts, too, on the clear and convincing position of this House.

A few minutes ago in Brussels, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the EU handed a letter to the President of the European Council on my behalf, confirming the Government’s decision to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.  

The Article 50 process is now underway. And in accordance with the wishes of the British People, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.

This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. Britain is leaving the European Union. We are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. We are going to take control of the things that matter most to us. And we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger, fairer Britain – a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. That is our ambition and our opportunity. And That is what this Government is determined to do.

Mr Speaker, At moments like these – great turning points in our national story – the choices we make define the character of our nation. We can choose to say the task ahead is too great. We can choose to turn our face to the past and believe it can’t be done. Or we can look forward with optimism and hope – and to believe in the enduring power of the British spirit. I choose to believe in Britain and that our best days lie ahead. And I do so because I am confident that we have the vision and the plan to use this moment to build a better Britain. For, leaving the European Union presents us with a unique opportunity. It is this generation’s chance to shape a brighter future for our country.

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