Britain's departure from the European Single Market represents a "theft of democracy" according to Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Britain will leave the European single market when it quits the European Union, Theresa May has said in a speech today.

Mrs May said that her plans for Brexit cannot allow continued membership of the single market, which would require free movement of people and accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Instead, she said that she will seek "the greatest possible access to the single market on a reciprocal basis, through a comprehensive trade agreement".

Speaking to the BBC outside Westminster immediately after Mrs May's speech, Mr Farron said: "What she has confirmed is that she is leading the UK to a hard Brexit which was never on the ballot paper.

"All the polling we have shows that 90 per cent of people want to stay in the single market. This is a theft of democracy, it's really bad for Britain."

Mrs May revealed that the final Brexit deal reached between the UK and European Union will be put to a vote of both Houses of Parliament.

Mr Farron added: "At the end of this process politicians get to vote on this stitch up but the British people don't."

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock also spoke out against the move, labelling the Brexit campaign as deceitful, and that leaving the single market would hit Furness families and businesses hard.

He said: "The Brexit campaign assured voters that leaving the EU would not mean exiting the Single Market - their deceit will cost jobs and hit living standards in Furness across the U.K.

"The Tory government presiding over this mess must not be allowed to get away with an even greater deceit - the fantasy that Britain could magic up a new trade deal with the EU and other nations on better terms than what is on the table as a member of the single market.

"A good Brexit for local families and businesses means staying in the Single Market. Theresa May needs to think again before it is too late."