Theresa May has been mocked for telling reporters she wants a “red, white and blue” Brexit deal for the United Kingdom.
The prime minister has said she will not provide a running commentary on her government’s negotiating strategy with Brussels. And various terms have been coined to illustrate the different deals that could be done, including “hard Brexit”, “soft Brexit” and “grey Brexit”.
May has frequently used the phrase “Brexit means Brexit” when asked about her plans.
Speaking on board HMS Ocean during a visit to the Gulf today, May said it was wrong for people to think the UK would be “taking one particular model” that already exists.
“It’s not about this sort of Brexit or that sort of Brexit, it’s about a red, white, and blue Brexit that is the right Brexit, the right deal for Britain,” she said.
Speaking Brussels today, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told May: “We are ready, keep calm and negotiate.”
He repeated the phrase twice, to drive home pointed reference to the British pre-WWII campaign poster designed to prepare the population for war.
A No.10 spokesman, asked directly if Barnier had been “trolling” the prime minister, said: “We’re entering the negotiations in the spirit of good will. And we will do it calmly.”
Barnier told reporters: “I do not know what a hard or a soft Brexit are. I can say what a Brexit is.”