UK

Theresa May Calls For Unity Ahead Of Brexit Negotiations

There will be an importance placed on 'common goals', the PM will say.

15/01/2017 00:02 GMT | Updated 15/01/2017 10:47 GMT
POOL New / Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May will this week call on the country to put aside divisions and unite as she sets out the most detailed plan for Brexit negotiations thus far.

She will use a major speech on Tuesday to plead for an end to language such as “Leaver” and “Remainer” and instead encourage the country to “come together”.

The PM’s words will also form the clearest signal yet of what Britain may look like post-Brexit.

The Sunday Telegraph reported the PM will say the UK is prepared to accept a so-called hard Brexit.

This would be a clean break from the European Union, leaving Britain outside the single market and Customs Union - and therefore able to fully control immigration.

The Sunday Times reported that Downing Street staff expect the speech to cause a “market correction” that could lead to a fresh fall in the pound.

May is expected to say that while people may have had different views about the EU referendum, many more share a common view of the kind of Britain they want to build in the future.

And in setting out the Government’s plan for the Brexit negotiations, the PM will highlight the importance of building on common goals – such as protecting and enhancing workers’ rights -  and focusing on a positive vision of Britain outside the EU.

The Prime Minister is expected to say:

“One of the reasons that Britain’s democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result. The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together. 

The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. Theresa May

“And that is what we are seeing today. The overwhelming majority of people – however they voted – say we need to get on and make Brexit happen. Business isn’t calling to reverse the result, but planning to make a success of it. And the House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly for us to get on with it too.

“So the country is coming together. Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – Leaver and Remainer and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success of Brexit and build a truly Global Britain.”

Speaking to an audience of Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other senior diplomats, May will also outline the Government’s vision of a “Global Britain”.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the speech may suggest: 

  • Britain should be prepared to leave the customs union to secure free trade around the world;

  • That the UK should have full control of its borders even if that means ending single market membership;

  • And that Britain no longer be bound by European Court of Justice rulings - despite previous claims to the contrary.

The speech has reportedly been months in the making and is expected to include a focus on building new and positive relationships with European countries.

The text’s final contents are a closely guarded secret within Downing Street.

The event is likely to be keenly observed for signs of the government’s strategy in negotiating to leave the EU.