Theresa May refuses to say if she would vote for Brexit in a fresh referendum

PUBLISHED: 08:40 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:52 29 August 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May meets South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May meets South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The prime minister has become the latest politician to be caught out by a question about whether or not the UK would be better off out of the EU.

Theresa May follows Jeremy Corbyn in failing to give a straight answer - despite being asked repeatedly the same question.

Asked if Britons would be worse off with a no deal Brexit, Theresa May told Sky News during a visit to South Africa: “What the Government is working for is to ensure that whatever the outcome of the negotiations, we make a success of leaving the European Union.”

Pressed on whether the UK would be more powerful outside the EU, the PM said: “I think there are huge opportunities for the United Kingdom outside the European Union.

“If you just look at the trade issue: we do want a good trading relationship with the EU once we’ve left, but we also will have the opportunity to negotiate trade deals that are in our interests and in the interests of our bilateral partners, rather than in the interests of the European Union.”

May refused to say whether she would vote for Brexit in a new referendum, stating: “That is a hypothetical question, and I don’t answer hypothetical questions because we’re not in the business of having - and it’s very important this point - because we’re not in the business of having a second referendum on Brexit.”

The comments were quickly seized on by People’s Vote campaigners.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said: “We are in the unprecedented and unenviable situation of having a Prime Minister who clearly does not believe that her own Government’s flagship policy – Brexit – is in the best interests of the country. And yet she insists on inflicting it on us all anyway.

“We cannot allow Theresa May to avoid this crucial question. Why is she pursuing a policy that she knows will make our country poorer and weaker? That is not what anyone, including her, voted for in 2016.

“With even our own Prime Minister unable to say that she backs Brexit, it is vital that this issue is taken out of the hands of the Government and out of Westminster and put to the whole country in a People’s Vote.”

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