her first televised interview of the year on Sunday, May denied
that Britain would face a "binary choice" between curbing
immigration and having preferential access to the bloc's single
But investors viewed the comments as a sign Britain was headed
for a hard Brexit, sending sterling down more than 1 percent.
Asked at a public meeting if her comments had been interpreted
wrongly, May said: "I'm tempted to say that the people who are
getting it wrong are those who print things saying I'm talking
about a hard Brexit, (that) it is absolutely inevitable there's
a hard Brexit.
"I don't accept the terms hard and soft Brexit. What we're doing
is going to get an ambitious, good and best possible deal for
the United Kingdom in terms of ... trading with and operating
within the single European market," she added.
May said she had not said anything new in her Sunday interview.
"I'm ambitious for the sort of relationship we can have with the
EU when we leave membership of the EU, but we mustn't think of
this as sort of leaving the EU and trying to keep bits of
membership, what bits of membership will we keep," she said.
"It's a new relationship, we'll be outside the EU, we will have
a new relationship but I believe that can be a relationship
which has a good trading deal at its heart."
Earlier, her spokeswoman said May was ruling nothing in or out
before starting departure talks with the EU.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and William James, writing by
Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)
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