What the different colour Brexits mean (other than meaning Brexit)

French President Francois Hollande welcoming the Prime Minister of United Kingdom Theresa May for a work visit at the Elysee Palace.

French President Francois Hollande welcoming the Prime Minister of United Kingdom Theresa May for a work visit at the Elysee Palace.

Soft Brexit - Retaining access to the single market even if that means accepting some of its rules, including some freedom of movement.

Supporters argue this approach will lessen the economic impact of the departure. Critics say it will prevent Britain from controlling EU immigration numbers. Also known as White Brexit.

Hard Brexit - A complete and decisive divorce from the EU and its single market. The UK would not have to adhere to the principle of freedom of movement of people, and could reimpose comprehensive border controls. Hard Brexit will use Britain’s new status to negotiate fresh trade deals with emerging economies. Also known as Black Brexit.

Grey Brexit - A compromise between the positions which is reportedly supported by Theresa May. She has promised a bespoke deal for Britain. Grey Brexit will steer Britain away from the black and white demands of the “Leave” and “Remain” camps.

Red, White and Blue Brexit - Speaking this week during a visit to Bahrain, Mrs May sought to defuse tensions in her party and Government over her negotiating stance by insisting she wants a “red, white and blue Brexit”.

She said: “These terms that have been identified: hard Brexit, soft Brexit, black Brexit, white Brexit, grey Brexit. Actually, I think what we should be looking for is a red, white and blue Brexit. That is the right deal for the United Kingdom.”

Mrs May’s spokesman said this meant “quite simply getting a Brexit deal in the best interests of the UK”.