The quote that shows what Theresa May really thinks about Brexit

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Thursday 19 January 2017 12:15
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Picture:(Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of flip-flopping in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

She quoted the Labour leader saying we must have access to the single market; something he reneged on slightly earlier this month.

It’s a bit awkward for May, because during the entire referendum campaign she fought for the Remain side.

But when she gave a speech earlier this week outlining the government’s aims for Brexit negotiations, anyone would think she had been a passionate Brexiteer her whole life.

And someone pointed out this small detail. Political lecturer Ian Bremmer tweeted:

Theresa May, last year.

This is A-game flip flopping.

The tweet pulls quotes from a speech May gave in April 2016, where she said:

We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly three times as much to Sweden as we do Brazil. It Is not just realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets.

But in a stand-off between Britain and the EU, 44% of our exports is more important to us than 8% of the EU’s exports is to them.

Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores.

I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain a member of the European Union.

May also said in her speech this week that negotiating with the EU means taking the opportunity to ask ourselves ‘what kind of country we want to be in’.

In April last year, however, May said:

Neither is it true that the EU is the only reason the continent has been largely peaceful since the end of the Second World War. Nor is it about ‘the kind of country we want to be’, as the cliche is usually put.

May, who is also former home secretary, also said if Britain was not part of the EU framework, including the Arrest Warrant, ‘Britain would be less safe’, and:

Remaining a member of the European Union means we will be more secure from crime and terrorism.

Here's her 2016 speech in full, if you wanted to read more.

More: Here's everything Theresa May revealed in today's interview on Brexit

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