“I want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before,” says Prime Minister Theresa May. “I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country – a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly Global Britain…. The following is the text of the speech the Prime Minister delivered at Lancaster House.
A little over six months ago, the British people voted for change.
That is why this Government has a Plan for Britain. One that gets us the right deal abroad but also ensures we get a better deal for ordinary working people at home.
Instinctively, we want to travel to, study in, trade with countries not just in Europe but beyond the borders of our continent. Even now as we prepare to leave the EU, we are planning for the next biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 – a reminder of our unique and proud global relationships.
And, while I know Britain might at times have been seen as an awkward member state, the European Union has struggled to deal with the diversity of its member countries and their interests. It bends towards uniformity, not flexibility. David Cameron’s negotiation was a valiant final attempt to make it work for Britain – and I want to thank all those elsewhere in Europe who helped him reach an agreement – but the blunt truth, as we know, is that there was not enough flexibility on many important matters for a majority of British voters.