Is Theresa May a Remainer and what are the Prime Minister’s views on Brexit?

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THERESA May has survived a vote of no confidence as she tries to push through a Brexit deal that Parliament will back.

But does the PM actually want to leave the EU, and did she campaign to stay or go? Here’s what we know.

 Theresa May's real views on leaving the EU are a mystery to many but she's wholly committed to her Brexit plan - for now

Getty Images – Getty

Theresa May’s real views on leaving the EU are a mystery to many but she’s wholly committed to her Brexit plan – for now

Is Theresa May a Remainer?

In the months before the 2016 Referendum, Theresa May was in the remain camp but was noticeably quiet in her campaigning.

As Home Secretary she toed the party line that then PM David Cameron had set out.

But the MP for Maidenhead did have moments where she strongly discouraged Brexit, warning voters that a Leave result could have seriously damaging ramifications for the economy and security of the UK.

Mrs May also said that leaving the EU would be “fatal for the Union with Scotland”, as the Scottish National Party (SNP) would most likely try again for independence if Scotland voted to remain while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

But she did say that whatever the outcome Britain should leave the European Court of Human Rights.

She highlighted the problems that the ECHR had made for her as Home Secretary, including delaying the extradition of Abu Hamza, nearly stopping the deportation of Abu Qatada, and when the ECHR “tried to tell Parliament that – however we voted – we could not deprive prisoners of the vote”.

May did not touch on immigration at all during the campaign – a noticeable omission given her Cabinet role.

As Home Secretary, she brought in controversial measures to reduce migration into the UK, including a minimum income requirement.

And her “Go Home” adverts attracted widespread condemnation after critics accused her of spearheading a message of hate around Britain.

 Theresa May has just survived a vote of no confidence - but will be forced to make concessions to get her Brexit deal through Parliament

AFP or licensors

Theresa May has just survived a vote of no confidence – but will be forced to make concessions to get her Brexit deal through Parliament

What are the Prime Minister’s views on Brexit?

“Brexit means Brexit” May is fond of saying, but what does she really think of it?

After the shock referendum result in June 2016 Theresa May performed a quick turnaround, apparently parking her remain leanings to one side.

Within a week of Cameron’s resignation she had put herself forward for the Tory leadership and was voted in unopposed.

As a Remainer, she tried to appeal to both camps, promising “the best possible deal was we leave the EU” and to “make Britain work for everyone”.

In an apparent bid to keep Brexiteers happy, she appointed some of the most prominent Leave campaigners to key Cabinet roles, including Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, David Davis as Brexit Secretary and Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary.

 Mrs May has always ruled our a second referendum

EPA

Mrs May has always ruled our a second referendum

But a tough few years have ensued, and May’s first deal agreed by the EU has been slammed by MPs on all sides.

Published in November 2018, it contained some key points that have irked critics.

After surviving a vote of no confidence in her leadership from her own party in December, she spoke of a “renewed mission – delivering the Brexit people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that really works for everyone”.

MPs voted down her Brexit deal 432 to 202 votes on January 15. She then survived a second vote of no confidence in her government by 19 votes.

Mrs May was hellbent on protecting her deal – but it’s unclear that MPs or EU leaders will budge.

Theresa May scraps £65 fee for EU citizens to stay in the UK after Brexit

These are words she has used time and time again – it remains to be seen whether she can make her “vision” a reality.

On January 21 she presented “plan B” of her Brexit deal in House of Commons.

She reaffirmed her view that Britain was going to leave the EU and she opposed a second referendum.

She told MPs: “Our duty is to implement the decision of the first one.

“I fear a second referendum would set a difficult precedent that could have significant implications for how we handle referendums in this country.

“Not least, strengthening the hand of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom.

“It would require an extension of Article 50. We would very likely have to return a new set of MEPs to the European Parliament in May.

“And I also believe that there has not yet been enough recognition of the way that a second referendum could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy.”

Theresa May wins no confidence vote by just 83 votes


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Our HELLONEWS mobile app has been released. Please click here to download. Don't miss our current news!

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