Theresa May dances in to fresh Brexit row

Theresa May meets staff and pupils during a visit to the ID Mkhize High School in Gugulethu, Cape To

Theresa May meets staff and pupils during a visit to the ID Mkhize High School in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: PA. - Credit: AP

The prime minister has rubbished her own chancellor's no-deal Brexit economic forecast as a 'work in progress'.

Prime minister Theresa May dancing with students and staff at ID Mkize Secondary School in Cape Town

Prime minister Theresa May dancing with students and staff at ID Mkize Secondary School in Cape Town Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

During a visit to South Africa, Theresa May repeated claims that no agreement with the EU 'would not be a walk in the park' but rather hopefully added it 'wouldn't be the end of the world'.

She added the government is putting in place measures to ensure it can 'make a success of no deal' and remains confident it can do similar with a 'good deal' – which she maintained it was possible to agree.

May added that Philip Hammond was highlighting 'work in progress' figures released in January when he published a letter just hours after the government started revealing its no-deal Brexit preparations.

The chancellor was accused by Brexiteers Tory backbenchers of launching another 'project fear' by claiming GDP could fall and borrowing could be around £80 billion a year higher by 2033/34 if Britain resorted to WTO terms.


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Hammond said such an impact on GDP would have 'large fiscal consequences'.

He also said this analysis was undergoing a 'process of refinement' ahead of a parliamentary vote on any deal.

May, asked about the timing and content of Hammond's intervention, said she had previously labelled the data as a work in progress.

The PM, who is in South Africa on a trade visit, later performed a toe-curling dance with children on a visit to a secondary school.

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