(Reuters) Britain will leave the EU's single market when it exits the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, putting an end to speculation that London might try to seek a "soft Brexit".

In a long-awaited speech in which she sought to define the country's future as a global player that aims to trade freely far beyond Europe, May said the final exit deal would be put to parliament for a vote.

That promise helped revive the pound on currency markets. Sterling GBP=D4, which has traded at the lowest levels against the U.S. dollar for more than three decades, rose during May's speech hitting a day high.

May said she would seek an equal partnership with the EU but that she would not adopt models already used by other countries that have free trade agreements with the bloc.

Her statement that Britain would leave the single market was by far the clearest indication she has ever given of her plans for the future, after months of criticism that she was not being sufficiently transparent.

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