January 16, 2017 / 9:11 AM / in 10 months

British PM May's spokeswoman says talk of hard Brexit is 'speculation'

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Media reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil plans for a “hard” Brexit in a speech this week are “speculation”, her spokeswoman said on Monday.

The Union Jack (bottom) and the European Union flag are seen flying, at the border of Gibraltar with Spain, in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, June 27, 2016, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU Brexit referendum. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Newspapers have suggested May’s speech on Tuesday will outline plans to prioritize immigration controls and bilateral trade deals with Britain leaving the EU’s single market and customs union.

Asked whether the markets were right to expect an indication of a “hard” Brexit with no access to the single market, the spokeswoman said: “It’s speculation”.

The pound fell as much as 1.5 percent on Monday, hit by media reports that May will signal Britain is on course for a “hard” Brexit from the European Union.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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