May calls for Brexit of red, white and blue ahead of MPs vote

Tim Farron criticised the Prime Minister for what he called "jingoistic claptrap. Picture: PA
Tim Farron criticised the Prime Minister for what he called "jingoistic claptrap. Picture: PA
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Theresa May has tried to quell tensions in government over whether the UK negotiates a hard or soft Brexit, by insisting she wants a “red, white and blue Brexit”.

The Prime Minister said that getting a good deal which left Britain operating within a single European market was the key thing, rather than being hung up on labels.

“These terms that have been identified: hard Brexit, soft Brexit, black Brexit, white Brexit, grey Brexit. Actually, I think what we should be looking for is a red, white and blue Brexit. That is the right deal for the United Kingdom. What is going to be the relationship for the UK with the European Union once we have left the European Union?

“That’s what we are about and that’s what we will be working on.

“When people voted on June 23 they voted for us to take control of our borders, they voted for us take control of our laws, and take control of our money, and how we spend our money. We want to get the best possible deal in trade,” she said.

Mrs May has in the past drawn ridicule from political opponents over her “Brexit means Brexit” slogan which critics have branded meaningless.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said yesterday: “The Prime Minister has surpassed herself with this statement. It’s jingoistic claptrap.”

MPs will be challenged by Mrs May to explicitly back her to trigger Brexit by April in the House of Commons today.

The Prime Minister will hope the move fends off a potential Commons rebellion as up to 40 Tory backbenchers were thought to be ready to back a Labour motion calling for her to set out her Brexit plan.

An amendment in the name of Mrs May will accept the Labour motion, allowing potentially rebellious Tories to back it, prominent Eurosceptic Steve Baker revealed in a tweet.

A Downing Street spokesman stressed that the amendment was “a separate issue” from the government’s Supreme Court battle to overturn a ruling that it should obtain Parliament’s approval before triggering Article 50.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister has been clear that we will set out our plans in due course. That remains the position.

“We won’t be showing our negotiating hand until we have to, but we have not suggested we will not set out the position. That’s what the amendment goes to.”