Photo: Leon Neal / Getty Images

At the end of a week that saw the major players in Brexit set out their positions for the process, British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her economic vision for the U.K.'s departure from the European Union in a widely-anticipated speech Friday, telling the EU that "we have a shared interest in getting this right, so let’s get on with it."

What happened: May presented the softest version of a hard Brexit plan that removes the U.K. from the EU's single market and customs unions but still maintains important economic and regulatory links to the EU via a landmark trade deal — all in an attempt to assuage the dueling wings of her party's vision of Brexit.

Key quote: May was addressing her own Conservative Party as much as the EU when she said, "This is a negotiation and neither of us can have exactly what we want."

Her message: May blasted the EU's insistence on an "off the shelf" deal for the U.K., insisting that the U.K.'s unique status demands a bespoke trade arrangement. She brushed aside European concerns that her requests amounted to "cherry picking," listing off unique details from some of the the EU's other trade agreements, like with South Korea and Ukraine:

"The fact is that every free trade agreement has varying market access depending on the respective interests of the countries involved. If this is cherry picking, then every trade arrangement is cherry picking."

One big concession: May acknowledged that the U.K. might attempt to negotiate associate membership with some key EU regulators — like in the medicine and aviation industries — so that there would be only one approval process for important goods across Europe. She also floated that this plan would allow U.K.-based experts to provide key technical expertise to the EU.

The problem: EU representatives still assert that May is indeed "cherry picking" which parts of EU membership she does and doesn't want for the U.K., which might signal trouble in the trade negotiations to come, per The Guardian:

  • European Council President Donald Tusk: “From the very start it has been a set principle of the EU27 that there cannot be any cherrypicking of single market à la carte. This will continue to be a key principle, I have no doubt.”
  • Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “It is not possible for the U.K. to be aligned to the EU when it suits and not when it doesn’t.”
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte: "For example, membership of the internal market, that means certain obligations. Membership of the customs union, that means certain obligations."

May's five foundations for any trade deal with the EU:

  1. Reciprocal binding commitments
  2. An independent arbitration mechanism
  3. Open, ongoing dialogue with the EU and the ability to consult on regulatory issues
  4. Strong arrangements for data protection
  5. The maintenance of links between people in the U.K. and the EU

A hot tweet among British political journalists:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.