'Brexit will make business LEAVE Britain' Angry backlash at Theresa May over leaked tapes

Posted in Google Brexit News
at 2016.10.26
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'Brexit will make business LEAVE Britain' Angry backlash at Theresa May over leaked tapes

Theresa May and Tim Farron Liberal Democrat leaderGETTY

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has blasted the Prime Minister over her comments

In a previously unheard recording Theresa May told staff at Goldman Sachs she was concerned about the fate of post-Brexit Britain just a month before the referendum.

Mrs May told the investment bankers she believed business would choose to invest elsewhere if Britain quit the Union.

The recording reveals the true extent of the Prime Minister’s support for the Remain campaign as she went further in setting out the economic case for staying in the EU than she had in public. 

Mrs May said she hoped British voters would look to the future rather than the past and that Britain would take a leading role in the EU. 

In the hour-long talk she told bankers: “I think the economic arguments are clear. I think being part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant for us.

“I think, as I was saying to you a little earlier, that one of the issues is that a lot of people will invest here in the UK because it is the UK in Europe.”

Theresa May speaking in BrusselsGETTY

Mrs May’s comments are in stark contrast with her tough talk in Brussels last week

She added: “If we were not in Europe, I think there would be firms and companies who would be looking to say, do they need to develop a mainland Europe presence rather than a UK presence? So I think there are definite benefits for us in economic terms.”

Goldman Sachs confirmed Mrs May had made a speech to staff but was not paid for her time.

Last night Downing Street said that whatever Mrs May had said before June 23, the Government was committed to honouring the result of the referendum.

Theresa May speaking in BrusselsGETTY

The Prime Minister was part of the Remain campaign but her public comments were more careful

The recording also reveals the Prime Minister’s fears about Britain’s security – showing her support for the European arrest warrant as a way of protecting national security. 

A No 10 spokesman said: “Britain made a clear choice to vote to leave the EU and this government is determined to make a success of the fresh opportunities it presents.

David Davis made very clear in the House of Commons last week the importance the government places on financial services across the UK in the negotiation to come, as has the Chancellor in recent weeks.”

Goldman Sachs office in LondonGETTY

Mrs May was addressing a group of investment bankers at Goldman Sachs

The tape will deal a damaging blow to the Prime Minister as it is in stark contrast with the Hard Brexit position she has advocated in recent weeks and her tough talk in Brussels. 

Last week Mrs May told European leaders to grow up and accept Britain is leaving the EU, saying a “mature, co-operative” approach needs to be applied to all Brexit discussions. 

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said it would leave the Tories facing a backlash in Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond constituency, where a by-election is due to be held following the MP’s decision to quit over Heathrow expansion plans.

Theresa May and her cabinetGETTY

Tim Farron has said Mrs May is only concerned with pleasing the “extremist” voices in her cabinet

It is disappointing that Theresa May lacked the political courage to warn the British public as she did a a group of bankers in private

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader

Mr Farron said: : “It is disappointing that Theresa May lacked the political courage to warn the British public as she did a a group of bankers in private about the devastating economic effects of Brexit.

“But far more disappointing is that now she is supposedly in charge, she is blithely ignoring her own dire warnings and is prepared to inflict an act of monumental self-harm on the UK economy by pulling Britain out of the single market.”

He added: “She is doing so purely to satisfy the uncaring, divisive and extremist voices around her own Cabinet table.

Prime Minister Theresa May in blue jacketGETTY

The Prime Minister had been careful with her public comments in the lead up to the referendum

“In Richmond Park voters will have the opportunity to say ‘no’ to that cynicism, by voting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.”

Andrew Gwynne, shadow minister without portfolio, said: “As if we needed it, this recording is cast-iron evidence of how Theresa May and other senior Tories have been saying one thing in private about the economic impact of Brexit, and another in the comfort of Tory conference halls.

“It’s plain that she recognises what a disaster it would be for Britain to lose access to the Single Market, so why doesn’t she be honest with the British people and say how she plans to retain it?”

Phil Wilson, Labour MP and Open Britain campaign supporter, said: “It’s good to know that privately Theresa May thinks what many of us have been saying publicly for a long time – leaving the Single Market would be bad for businesses and for our economy.

“Now she is Prime Minister, Theresa May is in an unrivalled position to act on her previous concerns – starting by putting membership of the Single Market at the heart of her Government’s negotiating strategy.”

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Published at Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:28:24 +0000

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