Speaking during a visit to Scotland, Mrs May also pledged Brexit would not mean the UK “stepping back from the world”, insisting she was aiming to build “a new partnership with Europe” while taking the opportunity to build “a more global Britain”.
The Prime Minister’s comments came ahead of her first meeting with Nicola Sturgeon since the First Minister announced plans for a second independence referendum triggered by the change to Scotland’s circumstances resulting from Brexit.
Addressing staff of the Department for International Development in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, Mrs May said: “We stand on the threshold of a significant moment for Britain as we begin the negotiations that will lead us towards a new partnership with Europe.
“I want to make it absolutely clear as we move through this process that this is not - in any sense - the moment that Britain steps back from the world.
“Indeed, we are going to take this opportunity to forge a more global Britain.
“The closest friend and ally with Europe, but also a country that looks beyond Europe to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.”
Promising to build “a more united nation”, Mrs May said: “As Britain leaves the European Union, and we forge a new role for ourselves in the world, the strength and stability of our Union will become even more important.”