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Theresa May promises a 'truly global Britain' after Brexit

U.K. Prime Minster Theresa May stressed Tuesday that the Brexit vote to leave the European Union was the "moment Britain chose to step back from the world but to build a truly global Britain." In what was her most significant speech since becoming prime minister last year, May described the nation as "proudly internationalist" and reassured that members of the EU are still "welcome" in Britain.

"We will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies, and close friends," May said. "We want to buy your goods, sell you ours, trade with you as freely as possible, and work with one another to make sure we are all safer, more secure, and more prosperous through continued friendship." The number of migrants, May added, will be "controlled."

Parliament will vote on the final deal between the U.K. and the EU before it comes into effect, May went on. "When future generations look back at this time, they will judge us not only by the decision we made but what we made of that decision. They will see we shaped them a brighter future and they will know we built them a better Britain," said May.

Some critics have already expressed disappointment over May's speech: "EU citizens are living in limbo and Theresa May has done very little to reassure them today," Nicolas Hatton, the founder of the grassroots campaign group the3million told The Guardian. "We are not bargaining chips, we are human beings."